Monday, 31 March 2014

Mothers Day fun!

  Mothers Day, the one day of the year when I get served breakfast in bed, without any moans and groans! My lovely husband cooked me my favourite, eggs benedict, whilst Chester presented me with a handmade card and canvas....



Chester made them at School, as this is his first year at School, its also my first experience of handmade things that I haven't helped him make! These gifts totally made my Mothers Day the best yet! If you cant see the writing on my card it reads 'I love my Mum because... She is Byootifl' . I had a tear in my eye and a lump in my throat when I opened it! Chester, the typical boy who can't be bothered to write much more than his name, has written these words for me! 

Mothers Day was going to be a bit unusual for us this year, not only because its the first year my own Mother was not close by, you may remember they moved down to Dorset last year. But also because we were lucky enough to get two tickets for Diggerland via the Kent Big Weekend promotion. After researching we decided that as Millie was too short to go on most things it would be unfair to take her. So Craig and Chester had a Father Son day. On Mothers Day! I didn't mind though because I knew how much Chester wanted to go! 

Chester was in a bit of a grumpy mood, I think due to tiredness, so that put a bit of a dampner on the day at Diggerland. But he still managed to have lots of fun 'driving' the diggers, and going on the rides. Craig said it was a great day out, lots to do, and it was nice that Chester was able to 'drive' some of the diggers himself. It made him feel grown up. Chester clearly loved it, he told me all about it when he got home and we suspect that Millie will love it too, so we will aim to go back when Millie grows a little taller!


Now Millie and I wanted a fun day too so we went swimming! Millie is always asking me to take her swimming, I take her as often as I can, but sometimes that is just not often enough! Millie is very water confident, she has her armbands on and she likes to 'swim' all by herself, so rarely lets you hold onto her in the pool. 

The big difference on this trip though was her imagination! They had water jets, bubbles, a waterfall and waves on this visit. Millie used these to her advantage and created a little story to go with them! Obviously she is only two, so most of the story was probably in her mind and not what was coming out of her mouth! However I did get the jist of it, basically I needed rescuing from the waterfall and she was the one to save me! Then I needed to save her from the bubbles! There was a lot of 'oh no' and 'lets get outta here' being said! It was so very cute! 

On top of that I realised that Millie was allowed on the flume, as long as she was on my lap. Her very first time on a flume and she loved it! She is such a dare devil, just like her brother! We ended up going on the flume about 10 times, although once would of been enough for me! We spend around 2 hours in the pool, Millie was hesitant to get out, she really loved it! 

I thought she would be worn out by then, but apparently not! So on the way home we stopped off at a local farm. Its free to see the animals, and the farm shop is great, selling all sorts of local produce. Millie mainly wanted to see the animals though, so we spent lots of time saying 'hello, my names Millie' to the Donkeys and Ponies! She was fascinated by everything they were doing. The highlight of her trip to the farm has to be the pigs. They were fast asleep, one of them was snoring and Millie thought it was hilarious! She was shouting 'wake up piggies WAKE UP!! Its not nap time you know!'


We headed home and the rest of the afternoon was spent playing on the trampoline. I am amazed that both children has so much energy! We played your it and catch. Then Chester and Millie played duck duck goose! Chester then had an idea to bring down his duvet and make a bouncy bed! The trampoline really is central to their playing at the moment so I can see the School holidays being taken over by the trampoline! 




Lastly Craig cooked us a yummy dinner, pie with roast potatoes. I spent the evening putting my feet up and doing nothing! It was lovely! 

Did you have a lovely Mothers Day? What did you get up too, I would love to know. 

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Hot Cross Bun Loaf

In my house it's not spring until the first Hot Cross Bun has been eaten! This year I decided I wanted to make a Hot Cross Bun Loaf, it turned out super yummy, so I thought I would share it with you.. The recipe that is, there is actually no Hot Cross loaf left! 

Ingredients:

                 

  • 425g strong plain white bread flour
  • 50g butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 x 7g sachet easy blend fast-action yeast
  • 50g soft brown sugar
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  • 300g mixed dried fruit
  • 125ml milk
  • 100ml boiling water

  • For the dough cross:
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 1tbsp water
    1tbsp plain flour

Method:

Rub together the flour and butter until it resembles breadcrumbs.

Add the yeast, sugar, dried mixed fruit and cinnamon and mix. 


                   

Make a well in the middle of your mix, add your boiling water to your milk. Make sure the liquid is warm and not overly hot, before pouring into the well. 

Mix together until a ball of dough is formed. 

Tip onto a well floured surface and knead for a good 10 minutes. You will know when you have done enough kneading. The dough will change texture and will be quite elastic to the pull. 

Millie helped me...


                   

Put your dough into a well greased loaf tin, or alternatively shape as you would like and place onto a well greased baking tray. 


                   


Put it somewhere warm to rise, I covered mine with a damp tea towel and placed near the window (it was a sunny day) 

Once the dough has doubled in size it is ready for the oven


                   


To make the cross part of your hot cross loaf you need to mix a paste of flour and water, then pipe a cross onto your loaf. Lastly, brush some milk onto your loaf and place in a pre heated oven (180 degrees) for 30 minutes. 



Once out of the oven Tap the base of your loaf, if it sounds hollow it's done! 



This loaf was quite a large size, however its so moorish that it doesn't last long in this house! 



Link up your recipe of the week

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

There is no such thing as too young for Disney...


When we took our Children to Walt Disney World last year, we got quite a few comments of 'Millie's a bit too young isn't she'. At the time Chester had just turned 5 and Millie was 22 months old.

We took Chester on his first trip to Disneyland Paris when he was a little over 2 and he still talks about it. So I knew that Millie was not too young. Regardless of if she can still remember it when she is 40 or not, we will remember it. We will remember those very magical first Disney moments, and believe me, they are magical whatever the age! I remember my very first Disney moments as though they were yesterday. I was almost 7 at the time, everything about the trip was amazing. Walking through Mickey and Minnie's house was amazing and meeting my hero at that time, Donatello, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, was just awesome. Absolutely awesome. 

So my one and only concern was actually keeping them both entertained on the flight! My one tip for long haul flights with under twos is try and pay the extra for a seat for them! On the way Millie had her own seat and it was great, we set her up watching films and she was happy. On the way back, not only was it a night flight but we were not able to get her own seat. So she was sat on my lap the entire time! It was awful! 

Whilst we were there the children quickly adapted to the time difference. Yes, there were times when both children had a melt down, a mixture of excitement, tiredness and the heat (which we are not used too) were all contributing factors. But overall they adapted really well and had a great time. 

I spent months before our trip planning and organizing and that really paid off. I knew what rides or character meets we needed to head to when. I knew when to avoid certain rides or characters and I knew how to utilize our fast passes and parade times. At times we rushed, yes, but most of the time we could just take it at the pace of the Children, well actually if I'm honest, the pace of the grandparents!


We spent two solid weeks immersed in everything Disney, we stayed at the Art of Animation resort so even whilst we were sleeping we were immersed in Disney! We managed to get most of what we wanted to do done. More importantly the children got to see and do everything they wanted to and more! Between them they filled up 3 autograph books!


For Chester his highlights were the rides. He is a little daredevil! His favourites were the three mountains. Space mountain, splash mountain and big thunder mountain. He just loved the thrill of it all. The best thing is that not a week goes by now when he doesn't sing Zip a Dee Doo Dah! I was surprised at how much he loved Soarin in Epcot, he just loved the feeling that he was flying. But it wasn't just the big thrill rides he loved. Every single ride we went on he loved. He was amazed by them all! He met Gaston and was in total aw. He was very lucky that he got chosen to play the part of beast and dance with Belle. Hook tried to 'fight' with him when he was walking along in the parade, and he got to see the Christmas parade and fireworks from Daddy's shoulders. He talks about 'when we go back to Disney' all the time. This morning he was using this phrase to tell me that he needs to get another bone cup from the T Rex cafe! Sadly that might be a long time away! We need to clear some debts and save first!


Millie's highlights include meeting Rapunzel for the very first time. She was in total awe of her. It was just an amazing tear in the eye moment. She talks about that moment a lot, almost daily. She also talks about the time she had breakfast with Handy Manny, Jake and Oso. She tells us Oso gave her a huggie and a kiss, and that she danced with Manny. Which she did. She loved the New Little Mermaid ride, then getting to meet Ariel. She tells us she sat next to her and talked! She loved going swimming, she loved the splash area in the nemo pool at our hotel. She loved the shows, I was amazed that she sat still for them, but she did. She even sang along to some. Millie knows more about Disney than your average 2 year old and that really paid off whilst we were there. She wasn't scared of any of the characters, she knew who they all were and she LOVED meeting them. She couldn't go on the big thrill rides, but there were a lot of rides she could go on. I love that she chats about her Disney World trip daily, for now she has those fantastic memories right at the front of her thoughts and I love that!


Disney World really is a place for all ages. We went with my parents, so the ages range was 22 months right up to 53. We all had an amazing time. But for me the best part about the whole trip was seeing the Disney magic through my children's eyes. The fun and excitement was catching! We all really would love to go back, me especially. I am really suffering from the Disney blues. To have 2 weeks immersed in another world, a fantasy world, where you have not a care in the world and your only worry is choosing where you should go for dinner! Its the kind of holiday you could do again and again and never get bored. I would certainly love do that holiday again and again.

So if you are considering a trip to Walt Disney World, my advice would be GO! Whatever the age range, it really is a trip of a lifetime. You will gain something very valuable ... Memories to last a life time! 




Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Soy and honey stir fry - a budget friendly meal

I know I am not the only one who is feeling the pinch at the moment. The bills have gone up, the food shopping has gone up, but the wages have stayed the same.

One thing that is top of my priority list is making sure my children eat a healthy and varied diet. I spend a lot of time planning our meals and budgeting for the month ahead, we shop monthly you see. I try to research and shop the offers. Sometimes that means visiting 2 or 3 different supermarkets, but that doesn't bother me, they are all very close together. 

This meal is one we have often, it's quick and easy, it comfortably feeds four and best of all it costs us just £3.07 for the whole meal! That's just 76p each!! I bought all the ingredients for this from Aldi, apart from the small amount of honey and oil as these were stock cupboard ingredients. 

Ingredients:


1 pack of vegetable and beansprout stir fry 
1 pack of ready to wok noodles
1 pack of 2 gammon rounds
Dark soy sauce
2 tablespoons of runny honey
1 tablespoon of oil (I used sunflower) 


Method: 

Chop up the gammon rounds into small squares and place them in a bowl. Marinade them in 1 tablespoon of soy sauce and the honey. I normally leave this to marinade for at least 30 minutes. 


Next add the oil to a wok or deep bottomed pan. I usually use my wok, but yesterday I used my new sauté pan and it worked just as well! Once the pan is hot add the gammon and cook on a medium heat for 4-5 minutes. Next add the veg and beansprouts, cook for a further 2 minutes making sure you are stirring occasionally. Lastly add the noodles, I added another tablespoon or two of soy sauce at this point but that is entirely down to taste. Cook for 2-3 minutes, making sure you are stirring occasionally and that the ingredients are mixed well together. 

That's it, it's done! 


It's as easy as that! We have made the stir fry with chicken before and just left out the honey. That is what I love about stir frys, they are very adaptable to your own families preferences! Both of our children love this meal and so do we. It comfortably feeds our family of four. 

Do you love stir frys? What's your favourite flavour combination? 




Egg box flowers, a spring craft.

So this weekend we decided to brighten up our window sil and make some flowers. I am (always) teaching Chester and Millie about the seasons. Spring has been discussed a lot recently and since we had lots of fun planting flowers in the garden last week, I thought a flower themed craft would be a good idea.

Last year we made egg box daffodils, Chester still talks about it a lot so this craft is of a similar theme. 

We cut our egg box into 6 and tidied up the edges to make them circular.

     

The children put on their painting overalls and then it got a bit messy! We chose two colours purple and yellow, and the children painted the egg boxes inside and out. Millie may or may not of had a little help from me! 

       

The egg boxes too a very long time to dry, so in the end we left them overnight. I then used a skewer to pierce a hole in the middle. I then tied a knot at one end of a green pipe cleaner and threaded it through the middle of the flower. Making sure the knot ends up on the inside. 

We then displayed our egg box flowers in a small vase filled with water beads! 



I think these are a great, simple, craft. Perfect for Mothers Day or spring themed crafts. What do you think? 

Sunday, 23 March 2014

The adventures of Bobby Bear....

This weekend, Chester got to bring home the School bear, Bobby.

He was so super excited about it, Chester is a rough and tough boy but he can still be caring and compassionate too! I mean as soon as we got in the car, he made sure Bobby was strapped in!

So at the age of 5 I thought it was about time Chester did a guest post for me! He was very excited when I asked him!

So here we go, this is what happened when Bobby Bear came to stay, written by Chester (with a bit of help from Mummy) ....

 I got Bobby bear and I was excited. I put him in the car and put his seatbelt on. He was sitting next to me. 



We took Bobby bear to the park. I put him on my shoulders. Millie tried to put her thumper on her shoulders, it was funny! 



I swinged him on the swing, but he fell out and I told him off!!

                    

I wanted to take him on the slide but I climbed to the top and it was too wet! Mummy told me to get back down. Millie had to get back down too. 

I tried to spin Bobby bear on the round a bout but I couldn't do it, he kept falling off! It got cold and windy so we went home. 


The next day I took Bobby bear into the garden to jump on my old trampoline when Daddy was building the new one. 

I played Angry Bird Go on Mummy's iPad and showed Bobby bear. 



I am sad Bobby bear is going back to School, he is very cute. 








Friday, 21 March 2014

Caramel surprise cupcakes

I really love chocolate, I really love cake, and I really love surprises. So I thought why not put all three together to make a really awesome cupcake?! 

Ingredients:

100g caster sugar
100g butter
100g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 eggs

1 tub of cake angels (or similar ready made icing)
1 pack of Galaxy caramel mini eggs

Makes 8 generous sized cupcakes.

Method:

Put the galaxy caramel eggs into the freezer the night before you intend to make the cupcakes.

Put the sugar, butter, flour, baking powder and eggs in a bowl and whisk them together. 

Line a muffin tin with 8 cupcake papers, then spoon some mix into each one, filling half way. Then get your mini eggs out of the freezer and place them in the middle of your cupcakes. Top off with a little more mix so that the eggs are covered and pop into the oven on 180 degrees for 18 minutes. 

                      

Once cooled pipe on some buttercream icing and your done! 

     

We decorated ours with Chocolate curls and some cute little Easter signs we had. 

I cut mine in half so that you can see the results..

     

But it is even better when your guest doesn't know that the ordinary looking cupcake has a yummy caramel surprise in the centre! 


Link up your recipe of the week

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Parents evening

So as the title suggests, yesterday was parents evening.

I have often said that I would love to be a fly on the wall in Chester's class. I would love to see how he acts at School compared to at home. 

As you know, since the Christmas break We have seen a big change in Chester. He is already half way through his very first year at School and it shows. He is like a little sponge, and since Christmas all his hard work learning has really paid off. He is finally showing an interest in reading and writing, his reading especially has come on so much. But he can have moments when he goes back a step, when he can't be bothered, when he claims he doesn't know the word 'the' when he has recognised and said it 100 times before. 

When we ask Chester what he has done at School he usually replies with can't remember or running around and fighting! Luckily we know that is not true (most of the time) but that doesn't stop you worrying does it?! 

We were in Walt Disney World for the last parents evening, so this was our first parents evening and we didn't really know what to expect! 

When we arrived at the School we were pleased to see that Chester's classroom was open for us to look around, and that his work books were out on the table for us to see. I looked through his news book and that was super cute to see what he had written about what he has done on the weekends. It was in this book I could see just how much his writing has come on. Don't get me wrong, he has a long way to go, but his personal progress is amazing! 

You get 10 timed minutes with the teacher for parents evening, so it was all a bit rushed. But in those 10 minutes we were told lots of lovely things. It's clear that his teacher really cares about the children. She is doing a fantastic job, she recognises Chester's strengths and weaknesses and uses them to help his learning. She knows when he needs to be challenged or when he need encouragement. He is on course to reach his correct learning levels and he excels in his maths. He works well in groups and asks questions when he wants to further his learning on a subject. But more importantly, I think, he is getting on really well with his class mates. His social skills are great and he is turning into a very caring and kind little boy. This is what brought a tear to my eye to be honest. Chester may be a boisterous 5 year old with tons of energy, but deep down he is a very caring and compassionate little boy, and that makes me super proud. 

Finally we were reminded to go back into his classroom to take a look at the walls. I'm glad we did. We were told Chester is very good on the computers and just that day he had drawn 2 turtles using the computers for their Noah board.... 


                           

Then we spotted a picture of his on the work of the week board! It's a drawing of a train, and let me tell you, for Chester this is a massive achievement! 

     

Overall we are really happy with Chester's progress at School, and super happy with his teachers and the School in general! 



                        

My final thoughts on lighter life Fast

In January I wrote a post about how I wanted to change a few things in my life, I vowed to buy a new item of clothing a month for myself. So far I have failed on that because I didn't buy anything in February! I did buy a lovely butterfly top the other day though, so at least March has been ticked off! 

I also really wanted to sort my diet out.

You may remember a little while back I was trialling out the Lighter life Fast diet. You may remember that I didn't particularly like the food but was going to persevere as much as I could. 

Well I just wanted to update you and give you my final thoughts...

I failed miserably! I haven't dared weigh myself as I know I have put weight on! I couldn't get on with the food at all. It put me off to be honest. So even when I tried to do my own 5:2 diet I still failed miserably as all I wanted to eat were naughty treats that I wasn't allowed! 

I think for a diet to work for me, I need to have something that is following a very strict routine. Having only 2 days where you have to be extra good was not a great move for me. I was just making excuses on the other 5 days about not having to be careful with what I was eating because it wasn't my 'diet day'. 

But I do have something really positive that has come out of this experience. After chatting with some if the Mums up at the School about my experiences and about how I wanted to change what I eat and my excersice. It was clear that I was not alone, we could all sympathise with each other that time and convenience are a big factor when it comes to our food and excersise choices. 

Shortly after these discussions, one of the Mums who already has a business in London running boot camps, set up a boot camp in our home town! It's been running a couple of weeks now and I have attended two of the classes. My intention is to attend 3 a week, I need to work this around Craig's days off and Millie. Millie came to one of the classes with me and was an absolute star, but I wouldn't want to take her along every time. 

What is great is that we all support each other, we are all at different abilities but no one judges you for how well (or not so well) you do. It's an hour long class and is pretty intense, but it has made me realise that excersise can be fun! It used to be something I dread, but now it's something I look forward too! 

I have started writing meal plans, so that we stick to them rather than grab something quick and unhealthy. Most weeks this works really well, we sometimes sway but normally only for good reason, not through lazyness. 

So although Lighter Life Fast was not for me, and let's face it not everyone can like the same things can they, I have managed to turn some of my food and fitness thoughts around and made some really positive changes, which I am very pleased about!

Have you made any food or fitness changes this year? How are you getting on? I would love to know! 

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

10th Anniversary of Oliver Jeffers’ How to Catch a Star

How to Catch a Star was first published 10 years ago. It was adored immediately, launching the now celebrated author and illustrator, Oliver Jeffers, who has gone on to win the New York Times Best Illustrated Books Award, Nestlé Smarties Book Prize, Irish Book of the Year and The Blue Peter Book of the Year.



Ten years on, How to Catch a Star’s beautiful illustrations and enchanting story have won the hearts of children all over the world. Perfect for children aged 2-7, it is a warm, poignant and humorous celebration of joyful ingenuity and the belief that anything is possible.

Out on the 27 March, How to Catch a Star is available from Amazon for £12.99

Now I will hold my hands up and say we have NEVER read this book before now. After reading it with the children at bedtime, several times I might add, I am now asking myself WHY have we never read it before?! It's a really lovely story, fab illustrations and just the right amount of words per page for a book aimed at this age range! 

We were sent a really lovely 10th Anniversary pack, which not only included the story, but also some glow in the dark stars, a poster, some activity sheets, and a USB stick packed full of downloadable activities (which I will be sharing with you guys soon). 


                   

As you can see, Chester and Millie have had a great time reading the story and sticking the stars to their ceiling. Chester was really captivated by the story, he often talks about space, he is the kind of child who wants to ask questions and further his understanding, and this story has really got him thinking! I am in no doubt that this story will be on our book shelves for years to come! 


We have a copy of the How to Catch a Star 10th Anniversary Edition to give away. To enter simply answer the question on the rafflecopter form. 

Good luck everyone! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway Win competitions at ThePrizeFinder.com

Moonpig - more than cards!

Did you know that Moonpig.com sold so much more than just cards?! Well I certainly didn't! I have used Moonpig a few times in the past, they are fab for making personalised photo cards, but never thought about gifts from them!

Well yesterday Millie and I were invited to the Montague Hotel in London to take a look at what other delightful products Moonpig stock.

We arrived to see the most gorgeous array of flowers, treats, and cards!


I think, sometimes, if you are buying flowers and gifts online its not always clear to see how much you are getting for your money. So it was nice to be able to see exactly what your money would buy you on Moonpig! The flower range starts at £25 and goes right up to £100. Personally I think you get a lot of flower for your money! Its not very often I receive flowers, but yesterday reminded me how lovely it is to receive them. It certainly brightens up your day! 


They also do some lovely plants too, my favourite is the spring trug in the middle ... 


With Mothers Day less than 2 weeks away, and Moonpig offering a free card with selected flowers and gifts, as well as free delivery, they are certainly worth bearing in mind! We do not live close by to our families so this is a great way to send a card and flowers or a gift all from one place. 

Talking about gifts, they also stock a really lovely range of gifts too! The breakfast in bed set was by far my favourite, it has everything you would need for a great breakfast in bed. Including a mini dustpan and brush for the crumbs! I know, such a thoughtful touch right?! 


I am amazed at the size of the range Moonpig stock, there really is something for everyone. Men surely can't get it wrong if shopping for Mothers Day on Moonpig?! A gift and a card all in one place and delivered for free! 

We had a fab day yesterday viewing the range. Afternoon tea was scrummy, Millie really appreciated her very own afternoon tea and it was nice that I was able to take her along with me. 



* We were invited along to view the Moonpig collection to enable us to write this honest post. 

Monday, 17 March 2014

Garden flower fun for the Children!

For quite some time now I have been thinking of ways to create a fun area in our garden for Chester and Millie. I don't mean a play area as they have that, I mean an area of the garden that they can call their own. Plant flowers, learn about wildlife and have fun whilst doing it!

Both of the children LOVE being outdoors, they love creating adventures, finding bugs and spotting other interesting wildlife. So it was especially important that we created an area that can be used all year round. 

Then I came across Tots100 latest Center Parcs challenge - Painting flowers. Reading through the entry details I read this tip from Emma Hull (Center Parcs very own creative crafter).. 

"If you'd like to paint in your garden, or any other outside space, remember to take something to lean on as well as a pot of water for you to wash your paintbrushes in"
Now I know that what she meant was - get your easel out and draw/paint your garden flowers. However it made me think outside the box a little, and I immediately knew that painting an object in our garden could be just the kind of idea I was looking for to make the children's gardening corner fun! 
So 'This is my entry to the Center Parcs and Tots 100 March challenge. If I’m chosen, I would like to visit Longleat Forest' please.
We have a corner in our garden behind our garage, that is a wasted space. It's not big enough to build a shed, but it's not small enough to be ignored. But sadly for the last 7 years we have done exactly that, ignored it. Used it as a dumping ground, see... 
    

I know, awful isn't it?! So last week I made it my mission to clear this area and transform it into the fun gardening area for the children. Whilst clearing I put aside an old wooden sandbox, a plank of wood and some broken up concrete patio slabs to recycle and use for our project. The children had great fun helping me dig up and move the dirt and weeds! We found lots of bugs and worms, which Chester temporarily housed (as many as he could) in his bug box until we had finished! 
                                                                                   
On Sunday, Craig's day off, we went to our local farm shop to get some bark and compost. Chester and Millie helped choose some pretty flowers to plant too. On the way home we stopped off at a DIY store and got a tester pot of masionory paint. We chose a nice light green colour, then we got a couple of bright coloured tester pots as well. 

By this point, Chester and Millie were really over excited! They couldn't wait to get stuck in! 
Their first job was to wash the patio slabs...
                      

Then they helped daddy spread the bark...
     

Once the patio slabs were dry, I painted them green, when they were dry Chester and Millie helped me paint flowers on them! As it's their part of the garden I wanted them to do as much of it as possible. As they are only 5 and 2 I thought it would be easy to stamp the flower design on. So I cut out an old sponge in the shape of a flower and let them paint stamp away...


Chester really wanted to use a paint brush too, so with my help he managed to paint these..

We used the old sand box as a planter, lined it with some more spare pieces of patio slab, then filled with compost and let Chester and Millie help plant the flowers they had chosen. The idea here will be to plant new flowers each season. 
       

We placed the patio slabs in the bark area and renamed them stepping stones! 
We have a few of final touches to add to make it perfect, I would like to put up a bird house that Chester painted a couple of years ago. Chester and Millie have some small pots and some little ornaments that they would like to use, and I would also like to recycle an old board I have to make a chalk board to attach to the garage wall. 
But I think the flower stepping stones totally make it fun and child friendly, what do you think?!