Search This Blog

Loading...

Sunday, 26 July 2015

My Wedding Day!

This is a bit of an oldie but I realised today I haven't shared by wedding story with you and as last week marked our 3rd wedding anniversary I though this would be great chance to share our wedding day with you!

We got married on 21st July 2012 on a lovely sunny day in St Peters church in Wapley. 


The days running up to the wedding had been pretty rubbish weather and I even went as far as hiring wedding umbrella's for photos in case it rained, however come our wedding day the sun was shining and it ended up being beautiful weather all day! 

The morning of the wedding I was joined at mine (whilst Frank stayed the night at his mums) by my 4 bridesmaids and flower girls where we all had our hair done and did our make up. Our flowers arrived and they were so stunning I couldn't believe it! 


As 2pm approached my bridesmaids headed off ahead of me to the church whilst I spent a little time alone with my dad before the car returned to collect me. As we got in the car my nerves (that had been pretty calm all day) suddenly sank in, I couldn't stop shaking so a quick drink was in order and off we headed for the church.


As we got there we were greeted by the vicar who would marry us and my bridesmaids, we were told how we would enter the church etc at this point my cold feet most definitely kicked in. As the music started and my bridesmaids headed in to the church I told my dad I had changed my mind and perhaps we should just go home lol! He got me in to the church all be it very shaken and it was a beautiful service where myself and Frank left as man and wife!!





After the wedding service we headed off to Chipping Sodbury Town hall for our wedding reception where we enjoyed a lovely sit down meal with close friends and family, laughed at the speeches (that even involved a piece of actual toast from the best man.... don't ask lol!) and enjoyed mingling with our guests before our evening reception began. 



We were joined by more of our friends for our evening reception which was a DJ and Buffet and lots of dancing! We had our first dance which even included a bubble machine, we had Goo Goo dolls - Iris as our first dance and half way through the song as all of our guests to join us which was lovely to have them all part of such a special moment. 



We had a beautiful day that we will remember forever and were extremely lucky to be able to share it with so many of our friends and family and of course our little boy James!


I hope you have enjoyed looking through some of our wedding photos! 

xXx




Thursday, 23 July 2015

Collins Big Cats books **REVIEW**

When James started school in September he couldn't really read at all but he loved having books read to him. When he started school he showed a really keen interest in learning to read and quickly learnt and now according to his teacher is above expectations for his year and you simply can't stop him from reading!

James brings home a book a week from school and we also make regular trips to the library as he just can't get enough of reading. So when we were given the opportunity to try out some Collins big cat reading lion books I knew they would be a hit with James.

Collins big cat reading lion books are a huge selection of topical fiction and non-fiction books written by the best authors and illustrators known for creating beautiful books and engaging stories that are loved by children. These books have been used in UK schools to help children learn to read but they are now available for you to purchase from the high street to use and read at home, making them more accessible and making learning phonics fun at home! 

We received a lovely set of books from Collins big cat that were tailored to James stage of reading. That's the great thing about Collins big cat is that you can purchase books that are at the right level for your child rather than guessing or worrying if the book is to easy or hard. 



The different levels available are - 


Big Cat Reading Lions – Level 1: First Reading at Home
Big Cat Reading Lions – Level 2: Practice Reading at Home
Big Cat Reading Lions – Level 3: Supported Reading at Home
Big Cat Reading Lions – Level 4: Confident Reading at Home
Big Cat Reading Lions – Level 5: Independent Reading at Home
Big Cat Reading Lions – Level 5: Fluent Reading at Home

The set we received was the Collins big cat reading lions supported at home Level 3 for ages 6-7. As well as the story these books also contain helpful activities that encourage your children to answer questions about the book or the words within the book to help them understand and enjoy learning even after the story has finished. 

The books are not only fun to read for children but they help build reading, listening and speaking skills. 

The set contains 6 books and is priced at £24.00 for the set. It contained the following books - 

What’s that Building? by Richard Platt
Unusual Traditions by John McIlwain
How to be a Knight by Scoular Anderson
Chewy Hughie by Jane Clarke
Twinkle, Twinkle Firefly by John Agard & Grace Nichols
Mountain Mona by Vivian French


Here is a clip of James reading one of his favourite books in the set "Chewy Hughie".


We also received the Collins picture atlas which was fantastic, even I as an adult enjoyed browsing through it. Its not like a traditional atlas, its much more fun! The pages are packed full of colourful eye catching images to go with the snippets of facts about the different country or continents. It also helps children learn about different people, animals and the different cultures around the world. 

I think this atlas would be the perfect learning tool for children learning about different places and as it contains images as well as writing its easy to understand even for younger readers. It is aimed at children aged 4-8 although I think children even older than 8 would still enjoy reading it. 

Here are some of the colourful pictures you can find within the Picture Atlas. 


If you want to find out more about the whole Collins collection you can visit their website here - www.collins.co.uk

Do your children enjoy reading? Whats your child's favourite book? 

xXx



Tuesday, 21 July 2015

June Degustabox!

If you like trying new food and drink and love the sound of it being convinently delivered to your doorstep each month for a low monthly cost them Degustabox is for you! 

Degustabox is a monthly subscription box which contains between 9 and 12 items for you to try. Some will be completely new brands/ products and others may be things you have tried before. Degustabox costs just £12.99 a month (but I have a discount code at the end of this post!).

Here is what was in this months box - 

Rekorderlig Cider 
I was so excited to see this in this months box I most definitely swiped it before anyone else had a chance! I received the strawberry and lime flavour and it was amazing, the only way to describe it would be a fresh fruity summer in a bottle and it would be the perfect drink to accompany a summer bbq or summer evening drinks with friends. 

Choc Chip/ Chocolate Brioche Pasquier 
These have made a few appearances in the Degustabox but they always go down well with the kids and they are so handy for lunch boxes or summer picnic baskets! The soft sweet brioche mixed with the creamy chocolate chips make the perfect combination for a sweet snack. They now come in a pack of 4 and are individually wrapped making them easier to pop into a lunchbox or bag. 

Icycl
I have to admit I was a little miffed at what this was when I first got it out the box but soon discovered it was basically an adult ice pop! how cool is that!? They RRP at £2.50 so a little pricey but they are so much fun and would be a great addition to an adults summer party or barbecue! They are available in a range of natural fruity flavours and are 6.4% vodka. 

Love Chin Chin snacks
This West African sweet snack is manufactured in the UK and made with 100% natural ingredients. We were sent the Cinammon flavour and the Love Chin Chin motto of crunches like a biscuit tastes like a cake certainly range true! I found these really moreish and something a little bit different to your normal "sweet snack".

Vybe coconut water 
Coconut water seems to have been quite popular in the last few Degustaboxes and has made various apperances from different brands, im not going to lie im not a huge fan as I really dislike the taste of coconut. However I know that coconut water offers great health benefits and if you are a fan of coconut then this would most likely be something you would really enjoy. 

Kallo corn and rice snacks
Kallo wholegrain corn and rice snacks are low in fat and calories so I was really excited to find these in my box as I have been trying to find "healthier" snack alternatives! The Kallo corn and rice "crisp" were lovely, they had a great crunch and were packed full of flavour. The chocolate covered Kallo snacks were equally delicious and even the kids liked them! 

Zeo Drinks 


Zeo are lightly carbonated soft drinks blending 98% spring water blended with naturally extracted fruits and botanicals and a touch of stevia for sweetness. The flavours we tried were peach and grapefruit and the lime versions. Both flavours had a strange taste to begin with but I soon got used to these and actually found them quite refreshing. These are definitely more of an adult fizzy drink flavour though. 

Melba Thins
I tried the original version of these in a previous Degustabox and they were a hit so I was looking forward to trying the wholegrain version this month. Melba thins make a great quick lunch and are so versatile they can be topped with literally ANYTHING! They have a nice crunch and are actually really filling. 

So there you have Junes Degustabox, as you can see its packed full of goodies to try and from lots of different brands too. 

If you fancy trying out Degustabox for yourself you can order yours via the website here - www.degustabox.com and I have a discount code for you too, just enter XP1PP at the checkout!

xXx




Friday, 17 July 2015

OXO tots products **REVIEW**

You may have seen a few months ago we reviewed some products from the OXO tot range include a divider plate and beaker which we loved, if you haven't seen the review you can find it HERE.

Well OXO tot very kindly sent us some more of there products to try out as Evelyn is getting bigger and moving on to a whole new range of feeding and drinking utensils!


We received the Flippy snack cup, Fork and spoon set and the training cup. 

First of all we tried the fork and spoon set which is priced at £7.00, Evelyn has been showing some interest in feeding herself with cutlery and these looked like a good size for her to try with. 


In fact the set was fantastic!  The smooth yet non slip grippy and chunky handles offered Evelyn the perfect handle to get a good sturdy grip on both the fork and spoon and help her navigate around her food. The spoon has a deep centre meaning food actually stays on the spoon and the fork has a great wide surface area for holding food too. This cutlery set makes a great starter set for toddlers to get used to using cutlery before moving on to more grown up cutlery. 

Next up we tried the Flippy snack cup which is priced at £6.00, I was really excited to try this as Evelyn likes to launch her snacks especially out of the pushchair and then cries when all her food is gone (baby logic hey!?). 


The Flippy snack cup features a soft flexible opening which gives little hands easy access to the goodies inside but stops even the smallest of snacks escaping! The snack cup also comes with a lid which is great for when you want to pop the snack cup in your bag or when not in use to keep the product inside fresh. The Flippy snack cup features a small tea cup style handle on the side which a non slip surface and is the perfect size for little hands to easily grab hold of. 

Evelyn was a little miffed at how to get the contents out from the cup at first and looked a little confused at why I was handing her something she couldn't get. However after a few tries and me showing her how it was done she soon had the hang of it and now it comes everywhere with up! A must have purchase for anyone! 

Finally we tried the training cup priced at just £6. Evelyn has been getting on really well with her OXO tots beaker (which you can see in the previous review post, link at the top) and so I thought it would be a great time to introduce the training cup (Evelyn is 13 months old). 


The training cup features a translucent lid insert with perforations around the perimeter which controls the flow of liquid when a child tilts the cup to drink. There are also non slip grips on either side of the cup to make it easier to a child to hold on to. The training cup has a 200ml capacity. 

 Whilst I don't expect her to be perfect at using it I would like her to be familiar with the training cup as it will eventually hopefully help with her transition from beaker to normal cup in the future. Evelyn actually got on better than I expected and knew exactly what to do with the training cup, we did have some spills etc and I am still holding the cup for her whilst she drinks but we will keep using it so she becomes familiar with it and hopefully more confident with using it. 

Overall we have been thoroughly impressed with the products we have tried from the OXO tots range and have found them fairly priced and high quality.

Do you use any OXO tot products? 

xXx


Thursday, 16 July 2015

Quick and Easy Chocolate Orange bread and butter pudding!

I am always on the look out for quick and easy dessert recipes and this chocolate orange bread and butter pudding is a great way to use up bread they may be going a little stale! It uses up simple ingredients that are usually found in the cupboard and if you don't have the chocolate or marmalade you can substitute it for a different flavour such as jam or chocolate chips! 


For this recipe you will need - 

  • 2 eggs
  • 50g caster sugar (+ extra for sprinkling on top)
  • 60ml of double cream
  • 250ml full fat milk
  • approx 8 slices of bread 
  • marmalade
  • 100g dark chocolate (we used Divine) 
  • appox 50g unsalter butter ( + extra for greasing your baking tin)


 Pre-heat your oven to 180C and then start by buttering your slices of bread with a good layer of unsalted butter, make sure you get right to the edges! If you are using marmalade then also cover your bread in a layer of marmalade at this stage too. 


Cut your prepared bread into triangles and layer into your greased baking tin. If you are adding chocolate now is the time to add chunks of your chocolate within the bread triangles. 


Now add another layer of your bread triangles and more chocolate. 


Next beat together your eggs and sugar until they become pale and slightly fluffy. Whilst doing this gently heat together the milk and cream but DO NOT let it boil. Once heated through remove from the heat and slowly add the milk and cream mixture to your egg and sugar mixture, ensuring that you mix the mixture as you do this. 


Pour you egg and milk mixture over your prepared bread and push down on it slightly to ensure all of the bread is covered and soaking in the mixture, allow this to soak for around 20 minutes. Sprinkle the top with some sugar then pop it in a pre-heated oven for around 35-40 minutes until golden brown like above. 



Then slice, serve and enjoy with or without cream (or perhaps you prefer ice-cream or custard?)

xXx

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Traveling with kids - Our top tips.

Most of us have been there, you get in the car travel 10 minutes down the road into your 3 hour journey and you hear "are we there yet!?" and its probably not going to be the last time you hear it during your journey either!
We have always holidayed in the UK which has usually meant lengthy car journeys to our holiday destination, not always easy with young children.


So as the summer holidays are almost here I thought I would share some of our top tips for traveling with kids.

- Plan ahead! Try and pack the car the night before it will save you the stress of doing it in the morning and means you can check you have everything before you have very excited children at your feet desperate to go in the morning. Also when packing the car try and place things you might need in easy reach, if you think you may head to the beach when you arrive make sure your buckets and spades aren't at the bottom. Same goes for sun cream and sun hats etc.

- Be prepared to stop and know where the service's are. Quite often traveling by car can mean long journeys on the motorway which means nowhere to just be able to pull over when you hear the words " I need a wee coming from the back". Keep an eye out for service stations and when you know there is one coming up ask them if they need the toilet or anything that way you can be prepared to stop before you pass it.

- Snacks, Snacks and Snacks! I like to pack a small cool bag or lunchbox with a few snacks ideally ones that cause as little mess as possible. Try not to pack chocolate as it will no doubt end in messy hands and face etc. We like to take things like rice cakes, grapes, cereal bars, cucumber sticks, crisps etc. If your going to be traveling over lunch time why not take a packed lunch and stop somewhere for lunch on your way, it will certainly save you money as the service stations can be quite pricey and it will give you all a chance to stretch your legs.

- A fun travel bag for the kids. This can be made up a few days before your journey and can be so handy in keeping young children entertained whilst traveling. I make ours up in a backpack that the kids can have in the back with them. Our bag contains things like a wipe board and dry wipe marker (as this won't stain the upholstery if dropped) for drawing, books, leappad or tablet device for slightly older children (make sure you pre download some suitable games or apps), sticker books, snacks such as raisins and cereal bars + a bottle of water and etch a sketch type games.

So these are a few of our top tips, do you have any to share? How to do you keep your children happy whilst traveling on long journeys?




xXx

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Bubble Barber at home with Paddy's Bathroom!

For most kids getting dirty is so much fun so why shouldn't bath time be fun too!?

That's where Paddy's Bathroom step in, with their new and exciting range of certified organic and natural toiletries especially designed with little ones in mind. Paddy's Bathroom products are created by the brand founder (Paul Lindley) of Ella's kitchen and you can certainly see the resemblance in the packaging and design. 


We were recently invite to come and join in with an event Paddy's Bathroom were holding, creating a bubble barber's for little ones to come and have their hair styled in any way they wish all made from bubbles! Unfortunately the event was just a little too far away for us to attend and we were all a little disappointed. So im sure you can imagine our excitement when we received a bundle of Paddy's Bathroom products to create our very own Bubble Barber at home! 

We had loads of fun and both James and Evelyn were sporting funky bubble hair do's including horns for James and a bouffant for Evelyn. We used a mixture of the bubble bath and foaming body wash/mousse to create our bubble barber hair do's. 

The first thing that hit me was the amazing smell coming from the box before I had even opened it. It was a fresh, fruity, vibrant aroma and so I hurriedly opened the box to see what was inside. 

The Paddy's Bathroom range consists of - 

Squirty Stuff, Foaming hair and body wash - Pineapple
Squirty Stuff Foaming hair and body wash - Mangoes 
Stuff for hands Foaming hand wash - Lemon
Bubbly Stuff Bubble bath - Tangerine 
Stuff for shiny hair shampoo - Lemon
Foamy Stuff foaming hair and body mousse - Rosy apples

As well as smelling great and being lots of fun the range is super gentle and kind to little ones skin and is sting free for little ones eyes too! The range also contains NO sls, parabens, phthalates, sulphates or GMO ingredients. 

A little certainly goes a long way too with Paddy's Bathroom products! A splash of the bubble bath filled our bathroom with a fresh scent of tangerine and a bath FULL to the brim with bubbles. The same goes for the foaming wash a few small squirts in the palm of your hand if plenty to wash all over. 


The entire range of Paddy's Bathroom toiletries can be brought from Boots, Ocado and selected Tesco's stores and prices ranging from £4.49 - £5.99 each. You can find out more about the whole range on the Paddy's Bathroom website here - www.paddysbathroom.com.

What style would you create using the Paddy's Bathroom range? 

xXx