Saturday, 31 December 2016

Happy New Year!

As the new year count down nears and 2017 is just hours away I wanted to wish all of my readers a

 Happy New Year!! 

I am sure for many of us this year like many others has had its up and downs but as the year comes to an end I have been focusing on the positive things I will be taking out of 2016. I chose not to really set any resolutions last year and just focus more on spending time with my family. This definitely gave me some perspective about what really matters. 

I am a worrier, I get anxious over the smallest of things that I seem to have the ability to make in to a huge issue in my mind. So in 2017 I will be really focusing on trying to to let these things get to me so much. 

I have joined a local gym and have been looking at joining up at a beginners yoga class which will be a big leap for me but one I have been thinking about for some time and this year I want to push myself to take that leap and do something new. My weight is something I have been unhappy about for some time and so I will be setting myself smaller monthly goals each month in the hope that by the end of the year I will be much happier with my weight. 

I also want to get outdoors more and have more "adventures". We have just purchased a WWT wetlands membership for the year to encourage us to get outdoors more. I will be writing up a "wish list" board with the kids of things they want to do this year, then we can tick them off throughout the year as we hopefully get through them. 

For me its not always about the big fancy moments or the huge achievements we may or may not have reached this year. For me its about those ordinary moments I am grateful to have been able to have. Its about the memories that we made and that I will treasure in my mind for a lifetime. Its about being grateful for the simple things, for life and enjoying it. 

Whatever you are hoping for in 2017 I hope its a happy, healthy and memorable year for you all, for all the right reasons! 


Do you have any hopes, wishes or resolutions for 2017?

Happy New Year and thank you for taking the time to read my blog! 


xXx

Friday, 30 December 2016

Motherhood - A lonely journey.

There are many things our friends, family, health professionals etc tell us about and prepare us for during pregnancy and once we have a new baby. But for me the feeling of loneliness was one I was definitely not prepared for nor did anyone tell me about.


When my first baby arrived I would trap myself in the house, it was my safe place. A place where I didn't have to pretend to be happy and perfect, I didn't have to pretend to have it all under control. I could stay in my pyjamas and feel safe and un-judged. The days were long, really long and I would be counting down the minutes until my husband would walk through the door from work and I could speak to another adult and I was no longer "alone". It was like this wave of relief would hit me as soon as he walked in the door. Another person to talk to, to help, to understand how utterly daunting this journey is and to almost pass the reins on to each evening.

I felt ashamed that I often resented the life I had. I struggled to adapt and questioned whether parenting was really for me. I knew there are people out there who would give the world to have a baby and here I was wishing my days away until my husband would get home, struggling with something I had been led to believe would come naturally. I guess its hard when you just want to give this new baby everything and all the love you have, to find time to love yourself and give yourself a bit of TLC.

In the beginning just after my husband went back to work, adjusting was hard! I had suddenly gone from working 6 days a week surrounded by adults and having a role and an importance to being a mum in what felt like an isolating and lonely place. For a while being a mum felt like the most difficult job in the world and I was a complete novice, except unlike in a job where someone was there to guide you I was alone in a scary, new situation.

Whilst the daunting fear of looking after a new baby did go and it did get a little easier once we had found some sort of routine, the loneliness was still very much there and now a new feeling had crept in, I was jealous of my husband! Yep as crazy as that sounds I was jealous that he got to leave the house, alone! He got to have some Independence at work and talk to other adults, he got a break from the nappy changing, the feeding and the constant need to care for someone so dependent on you. I became resentful and at times it would feel like I had cut the raw deal out of this parenting malarkey.


Parenting is not always the easy journey so many programs and people make it out to be! For some people that love is instant but for others it takes a while. For some people they slip in to a routine and have it all under control. For others like myself it takes time, there are other feelings that seem to overwhelm us like the fear or the loneliness.

James is now 7 and Evelyn 2.5 years old and it has most definitely got easier. I still get a little jealous that my husband gets to get out of the house and have some time away but I certainly don't resent him anymore. The loneliness is much easier too, I definitely found with my second baby that I had more confidence to approach mums and just be me, I felt more confident in my parenting choices which certainly helped me doubt myself less too. I worried less about being the perfect mum and focused more on just being the mum I wanted to be and not what I thought I had to be.


Mums and Dads there is no right or wrongs to parenting, that's why there's no manual or guide (unfortunately!). Each journey is unique in its own way and we will all encounter a rocky path or mountain we need to navigate at some point. It doesn't mean we don't love our kids any more or less, it doesn't mean you are any less a parent or that you don't deserve it just as much as anyone else.

This is our journey as totally exhausting, lonely, emotional and magical it may be. Don't be afraid to speak out, ask for help or just shout from the roof tops just how your feeling! Those feeling of loneliness are totally normal and caring for a tiny new totally dependent little person is draining more mentally and physically then we can ever really prepare for.

Sometimes we just have to remember to cut ourselves a break and give ourselves a little bit of that love too!


xXx



Friday, 23 December 2016

Vileda Windomatic **REVIEW**

Cleaning the windows is one of the jobs I really hate!! Our windows seem to get really wet from condensation too, especially in the winter when its cold outside and we have the heating on inside. Meaning they need wiping over on a daily basis, which in itself is a pretty tedious job and I never seem to be able to get the windows smear free when I do this.

So when we were recently offered the chance the give the Vileda Windomatic a try I was intrigued to see if it would really work and if it could help make clearing the windows a little quicker in the mornings!

The Vileda windomatic comes as one whole unit with a detachable container that collects the water. The windomatic charges via a cable (you need to charge it for 6 hours before the first use) and gives up to 20 minutes cleaning, meaning you don't have to worry about changing batteries etc.

The Vileda windomatic is lightweight and easy to hold and the wide vacuumed rubber blade makes quick and easy work of cleaning windows, it also tilts and flexes by up to 15 degrees to ensure you can get in to all those tricky to reach corners. But that is not all it can be used for!

As well as cleaning windows here are just some of the things the Vileda Windomatic can be used for -

- Clearing condensation on windows
- Cleaning up drink spills
- Clearing your car windscreen of moisture/condensation
- Cleaning mirrors

I can honestly say since using the windomatic clearing the windows in the morning now takes mintues and isn't a job I hate! Its quick, easy and leaves us with clear, dry and smear free windows every single time.

Here is our windows before and after and this took under 2 minutes!



As you can see they are totally clear and dry too. In the spring I will be getting my husband out on the ladder to clean the outside with this too, meaning it will save us money on having to hire a window cleaner too.

The Windomatic has been great having around for when the kids are eating too. Evelyn is currently moving from drinking out of a beaker to a cup and as I am sure you can imagine we are getting quite a few spills. The windomatic however makes light work of sucking up the spilt drink leaving the table clean and dry in seconds.

The Vileda Windomatic is priced at £49.99 and in my opinion is totally worth that! It has several uses and we are using it daily making it really worth while and a household gadget that now I have I don't want to be without.


I would give the windomatic a 4.5 out of 5. The only reason its not a 5 is because of the usage time. 20 Minutes is fine if your just using it to clear condensation of a morning. However if you wanted to tackle a bigger job like cleaning the windows I would be worried about running out of charge before the job was done.

If you want to find out more about the Vileda Windowmatic you can find lots of information on the website here - Vileda Windomatic.

Are there any cleaning jobs you really hate?

xXx



**I was not paid for this post, I did receive the windomatic free of charge for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.**

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Christmas Traditions, Keeping traditions alive!

There is something so magical about Christmas that totally love, even more so now we have children to enjoy it with! 

When I was little I always remember the little Christmas traditions we had as a family and how special and exciting they made Christmas. It was the little things such as every Christmas me and my sister would take it in turns 1 person chose things for Santa and the other for the Reindeer. For Santa my dad always used to take us to this little shop in the high street to choose a little miniature bottle of alcohol (my sister once picked the Tequila with the worm inside!) I bet my dad was thrilled!

Another tradition we had as kids was on Christmas morning. Once we had woken up my dad would go down stairs and "see if Santa had been", he would then bring our stockings upstairs and we would open them on mum and dads. Eating our obligatory piece of fruit found in the bottom of our sticking before heading downstairs to discover more presents! 

I adore thinking back to our little traditions and have really tried to carry these on with James and Evelyn now, along with making our own of course. 



Now that we have children we have our own traditions as well as keeping some of our own childhood traditions. One of our new traditions is going to visit Santa somewhere different each year and always on Christmas eve. We have been to see Santa on a steam train and even in the  caves. I hope that in years to come if my children have kids they will remember how magical our traditions were and will want to continue them on and create some of their own! 

I love hearing about other people Christmas traditions and you never know they may even inspire you to start a new tradition! So here are some more Christmas traditions from other fabulous bloggers - 

Becky from Sparkly Mummy - "Everyone gets new PJ's on Christmas Eve and we spend Christmas Day in them and we always watch the snowman, nightmare before Christmas and the Grinch on Christmas Eve"

Ashleigh from 3 girls mummy - "Each year we wrap up the living room door so the kids have to tear it down to get through to the Christmas tree and see what Santa left!"


(Photo belongs to Ashleigh from 3girlsmummy.co,uk)

Jada from Unique young mum - "I do elf on the shelf, even as a parent it's so much fun getting involved in it and thinking of new places to hide Buddy (our elf) my son loves waking up every day throughout December up until Christmas Eve looking for him!"

Cathryn from Cardiff mummy says - "Every year, my children do a little show for me and my husband, they make it up themselves, singing, dancing etc. Last year it was all based on the song When Santa Got Stuck Up The Chimney. 
It came about because I told them that's what me and my brothers did when we were little for our parents and they loved the idea and I love that we are continuing the tradition."

Emma from Sophie Ella and Me - "I put together a Christmas Eve basket for my daughter each year and include Christmas pyjamas, a soft toy, chocolates and other festive goodies! I think it's such a lovely tradition to start!"


(Photo belongs to Emma from SophieEllaandMe.com)

Hannah from Han Plans - "Since Jaxon was born we read The Night Before Christmas on Christmas Eve. Growing up it was standing in the kitchen with my mum and cutting out the pastry circles for mince pies while listening to Any Grant's Home for Christmas album"

Katie from Living life our way - "We always decorate a gingerbread house together on Christmas eve."


(Photo belongs to Katie from livinglifeourway.com)

Irina from Wave to mummy - "We have a special Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve. In Finland, my native country, you celebrate Christmas one day early so I always cook us a few traditional Finnish dishes. After dinner you would (in Finland) have gifts, so we will also open one gift."


Do you have any special Christmas traditions? I would love to hear about them in the comment section below! 



xXx


Tuesday, 29 November 2016

A Magical Christmas Experience at LaplandUK.

When the email landed in my inbox to tell me we had been invited along to review a day out at Lapland UK I could barely contain my excitement! I rang my husband and definitely struggled keeping it a secret from the kids.

If you haven't heard of LaplandUK its aimmersive family theatrical experience that replicates Father Christmas' arctic homeland of Lapland. Your visit will take you on a magical journey through a magical winter wonderland accompanied by elves as you help them out with jobs such as toy making and gingerbread decorating. Of course your trip wouldn't be complete without meeting Father Christmas who provides a personal meeting with your child complete with a beautiful present to take home. 


As part of the experience each child will receive a personalised invitation inviting them to LaplandUK which will be sent discretely along with your confirmation. You can choose when to give these to your child since their is no date on them, we chose the evening before so they would be all excited to go the next day!

When you arrive at LaplandUK you are helpfully directed where to park and your experience begins as soon as you step out of the car! Following the paths sign posted as the "Enchanted Forest" we stumbled upon a beautiful lantern lit pathway leading to our check in point. Each child is given a passport at check in. You will need to keep these safe as your child will be given a stamp for each activity they do as they move around LaplandUK.


Stepping inside is like being transported straight to Lapland with everyone from the people at the check in to the people in the cafe fully dressed as elves. Despite there being a lot of people we checked in with little waiting or fuss and the elves dotted around helped keep little ones happy and entertained whilst we awaited the elf to show us where to go.

After a brief performance from some elves, telling us all about where elves come from and the children's job in LaplandUK we are lef through the doors! Then came the Narnia moment when the elves opened the big double doors to reveal a stunning snow covered woodland and pathways and we were led through here to our first activity. Helping the elves makes toys!



Here children will get to help the elves make 2 different types of toys whilst here all about what the toy making elves do to help Father Christmas all year. James was fascinated by this and loved helping make the toys.

Our next Activity was helping Mother Christmas make gingerbread. You walk through the snow covered woodland walkways to get to each activity which are held in beautifully wooden buildings peeking out through the trees. Making the gingerbread was lots of fun and you are even provided with aprons to keep clean and bags to take the gingerbread home in. This part of your adventure is finished off with a lovely story from Mother Christmas.


After your activities we were told we had 90 minutes free time to explore the elf village!


Stepping inside the elf village was magical, the Christmas tunes playing in the background and the huge ice rink surrounded by quaint wooden elf buildings really set a magical scene. The ice skating is included in the price, as was everything except for food and drink etc!

We also explored the building surround the ice skating with our first stop being the post office to write our letters to Father Christmas.



After writing them an elf sealed the kids letters with a wax seal and led them to the wall of letter boxes where they chose a letter box to post their letter in.

We also paid a visit to Pixie Mixie's sweet shop where James purchased a lollipop the size of his head for just 2 jingles!


We stopped off at Bauble's Bauble shop to admire all the beautiful decorations on offer too.


There was a elf emporium packed full of beautiful toys and gifts perfect for grabbing some Christmas gifts if one of you can keep the kids occupied outside!

Whilst you are in LaplandUK you cannot use your "normal" money and must use the elf currency of Jingles! You can either order these when you book online or like us pick them up on the day. You can still your your debit card though if you don't wish to change any money up but we did find the kids loved paying in Jingles and really getting in to the spirit of being in the elf village. You can cash up any left over Jingles when you leave.

Here are some more pictures of our magical day at LaplandUK!





Your day at LaplandUK culminates in a very special visit to Father Christmas. After another check in point an elf comes and takes each family individually along a windy snow covered forest path to meet father Christmas. After a small wait outside we were invited in to meet Father Christmas. He greeted the kids with a jolly disposition and knew their names and so much about them (that adults fill out before you go!). It didn't feel rushed and he had lots of conversation with the kids before handing them a beautiful husky teddy to bring home.

Whilst you are meeting Father Christmas an elf takes photos, your first photo is free and then after that 15 jingles each. You can also purchase a "scrapbook" which includes 2 photos and also some recipes, stories and a place for the kids passports for just 15 jingles. You also get the digital downloads for any photo's you purchase!











I can't write this review without addressing the cost. At between £65 and £130 per person it certainly isn't cheap! For us (a family of 4) it would of cost us
£342 for our experience. For us that is a lot of money and something we would probably struggle to find especially on top of Christmas. However if you can afford to go then 100% do it!!

Its a magical day out that I am certain James will look back on and remember for ever! Its not just a "visit to Father Christmas" you are paying for. Its the experience and everything that LaplandUK has to offer. Its a magical wonderland where even as an adult you feel transported to being a child again.

Its clear to see from the moment you step inside that so much time, effort and love has gone in to creating LaplandUK. All the staff we encountered were fantastic and it was clear they had a real love and passion for what they were doing and keeping the Christmas magic alive for all the children and grown ups.

There is no detail LaplandUK have not covered making it a can't beat experience right here in the UK and if you can go then go you definitely will not regret it, its magical!

If you want to book tickets to LaplandUK or find out some more information visit the LaplandUK website. 

xXx


**I was not paid for this review. We received tickets to come along and review LaplandUK. All thoughts and opinions are my own.**




Monday, 28 November 2016

Puddle Adventures with my little explorer.

If there is one thing Evelyn loves most about the winter its the puddles!

So you can imagine our delight when out latest challenge as HiPP Explorers was to slip on our welly boots and go jumping in puddles.

We received these adorable welly boots and waterproof jacket in this very cute duck print from Frugi to help Evelyn keep dry on her puddle jumping adventures!. Evelyn could hardly contain her excitement to put them on and get outdoors and insisted on wearing them on the school run just moments after they arrived.


We have a membership to our local WWT wetlands centre which always has lots of puddle jumping opportunities so off we went to find some puddles, and puddles we found. Its not just great for puddle jumping though there are lots of birds to look at and places to explore!




Of course all this puddle jumping uses up lots of energy and so starting off the day with a good breakfast is vital!

HiPP have a wide range of breakfast products in their range which are made with the finest organic ingredients, providing toddlers with a healthy nutritious breakfast to start the day. 



Included in this range is the HiPP Organic Fruity Muesli with Crispy Ducks contains the finest organic cereal and have no added sugar. These were a big hit with Evelyn and great for slightly older ones who want to feed themselves as Evelyn found this really easy to scoop up with her own spoon. 

Also available in the breakfast range are The HiPP Organic range of tasty Porridge Pouches which are the only porridge in a pouch available in the UK.  These handy breakfast pouches are packed full of scrumptious 100% organic fruit and wholegrain cereal,  providing valuable nutrition for little ones and contain no added sugar, only natural occurring sugars.

I really liked the pouch idea and they were especially handy to take along with us on the school runs when Evelyn was being fussy about eating breakfast at home before we had to leave. These would also be perfect to take along with you on day trips or holidays etc as they can just be popped in the a change bag etc. 

Evelyn loved the whole HiPP range and there is such a variety of flavours available she certainly didn't get bored, which is somehing I do worry about. I felt much happier knowing she had a good breakfast to start the day too since she always seems to be on the go throughout the day! 

HiPP Organic has a great range of products perfect for breakfast. Visit the website for more details - www.hipp.co.uk.

Do your little ones have a favourite breakfast food? 


xXx


**We were not paid for this post. We are part of the HiPP Explorers team and received some of the items featured here to enable us to write our post. All thoughts, opnions and photo's are my own.**

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Something Special - Mr Tumble toys **REVIEW**

Something special is a program that is a firm favourite with Evelyn. She loves all of the different characters Justin portrays, especially Mr Tumble who always makes her giggle.
As a parent I really like the fact that throughout the program Evelyn started picking up some basic Makaton signs that she actually used day to day when she was smaller. 

So when we were recently asked if we would like to review some toys from the Something Special range from Golden Bear Toys we jumped at the chance, knowing just how much Evelyn would love them. 

The first toy we received is the Lights and Sounds Mr Tumble. 


He is a great size who really resembles the TV version of Mr Tumble, even coming with his own matching spotty bag which opens and closes! What makes this toy extra special though is that if you press his hand Mr Tumble says some common phrases and sounds along with a very funny laugh. That's not all though, when you press Mr Tumble hand as well as talking his bow tie lights up! 


Evelyn is besotted with the Lights and Sounds Mr Tumble and takes him everywhere with her, even storing little toys in the spotty bag. I really like the fact that his large non slip feet mean Mr Tumble can stand on his own. Mr Tumble has also become a firm favourite for nap time companion as she loves to stroke his super soft hair. 


We also received Mr Tumbles Spotty Bag and I don't Evelyn could contain her excitement when she realised she actually had her very own spotty bag to store all her favourite things. 


Evelyn is 2 and the bag was a great size for her, it does have an adjustable strap though if you need it slightly longer or shorter. The bag has lots of space inside and Evelyn loves using it to collect special things we find when out on our walks and the velcro fastening ensures everything stays inside. 


The bag itself is made with lovely bright fabric and has 4 different textured spots on the front - green satin, orange velvet, red plush and blue corduroy which Evelyn loves feeling. Mr Tumbles spotty bag also  comes with 5 brightly coloured cards featuring Makaton signs to help establish recognition of some common words. I loved this addition and we have been using them regularly and Evelyn loves having a go at using the signs. 


We have loved trying out some of the toys from the Mr Tumble range and they have a big thumbs up from us. They seem well made and sturdy and the bright colours and different textures are great for kids and really grab their attention. 

If you want to check out more toys from the Something Special range you can find the full range over on the Golden Bear Toys website

Do your little ones like Mr Tumble? 

xXx

**I received these products free of charge in order to write my review. All words, photos and opinions are my own.**

Monday, 21 November 2016

Summer Infant - My Size Potty **REVIEW**

Since Evelyn turned 2 potty training has been at the front of my mind. I know its something that as parents we have all been through and its one of those stages most of us dread and hope is over quickly. However very often its not and it can be quite tricky to get children completely potty trained so I am a big fan of any product that might make the process a little easier!

When we were recently offered the chance to try out the Summer Infant my size potty I knew it had to be worth a try. 


Evelyn seems to be a bit hit and miss with potty training, some days she is happy to use the potty or at least try. However other days even the mention of removing her nappy sparks tears so I was hoping the my size potty might be a positive on our journey. 

The Summer Infant my size potty is a children's potty which as been designed to look just like a real full size toilet complete with its own  pretend flush with noises. 


Assembly of the potty is easy and the instructions are clear and simply. It really is a case of placing some screws in a few pre drilled holes and your toilet is ready to use. There is even a space on the top of the toilet for you to place some tissue or wipes which I thought was a lovely touch, also meaning you always had wipes to hand! 

Evelyn found the potty funny at first but actually showed lots of interest in using it unlike any other potty we have tried. I think she loved the fact it looks just like mummy and daddy's toilet and she felt grown up using it. She loves pushing the flush down but was a little unsure as to why it didn't actually flush away the wee. 

The splash guard was my only dislike on the my size potty. It comes up quite high over the seat of the potty making it quite difficult for little ones to position themselves on the toilet without catching the splash guard in the process. We opted to take it off in the end and we haven't had any splashes or leaks yet. 


Over all we give the Summer Infant my size potty a thumbs up. It has definitely given Evelyn more of an interest in using the potty which is a big bonus. From a parent perspective I really like the fact you can remove the main bowl from the toilet unit meaning it can easily be emptied and cleaned without having to haul around the whole toilet unit. I also found it really handy to have the space for the wipes so I had some to hand when needed. 

The my size potty is priced at £34.99 which is at the higher price range for a potty but I would still say it is worth the price tag if you have a child who may may prefer using a toilet over a traditional style potty. I feel that using this smaller version of a toilet may make our transition from potty to actual toilet much easier in the long run. 

So whilst Evelyn still isn't totally potty trained we are slowly getting their and the Summer Infant my size potty is certainly helping us along the way. 

Do you have any potty training tips to share? 

xXx

**I received this products free of charge in order to write my review. All words, photos and opinions are my own.**

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Children's Christmas Gift Guide #2!

You may have seen our first Christmas gift guide if not you can find it here! We included lots of great toy and gift ideas for children this year, however there are so any great products out there we just couldn't fit them all in one post. So here is our second gift guide packed full of great gift ideas for Christmas.

Whether the person you are searching for is a toddler or teen we are sure to have something to keep everyone happy across our gift guides so check them out and let us know in the comments below what is the top toy your child is asking for this Christmas.



1. Harry Potter Slytherin Glass - This large Harry Potter glass would make a great gift for any Harry Potter fans around. The front displays a large colourful crest (other crests are available) making it really stand out. This glass is available from Lakeland.

2. LEGO City Van and Caravan set - LEGO is one of those timeless classic toys that kids (and grown ups!) never get bored of. Its a toy that will be played with time and time again and creates amazing imaginative ideas and helps them come to life. I love this van and caravan set as its something most kids will have seen it real life so being able to build something to play is great! This set is available from Amazon, Tesco and the LEGO website priced at £17.99. A great starter set for a LEGO newbie or a lovely set to add to any LEGO collection.

3. Marili luxury gift set - These luxury gift sets from Marili made a lovely gift for any baby or toddler that is something a bit different from toys. Each set contains a plush toy, a soft 100% cotton t-shirt or baby grow and a gentle body wash. You can choose whether your gift set contains a baby grow or t-shirt. I love that this set is something a bit different and the plush toy makes a lovely keepsake. These sets are available from the Marili website and are priced at £35.99. 

4. Baby Born Fashion Clothing pack - Did you know that its not just the doll to consider when you think of Baby Born dolls? If you are looking for something a little less expensive or your little one already has a doll to love have you checked our all the accesories available for Baby Born? My little girl loves dressing up her dolls so this Baby Born fashion pack it great! It contains 2 outfits - Outfit 1 includes dress, leggings and glasses and outfit 2 includes top, 2-in-1 short leggings and hat. The clothing in this set is great quality and fits the Baby Born doll really well. With easy slip on clothing and velcro fastenings its really easy for little hands to dress their own dolls. 

5 + 6. Bladez Remote Control character toys (RC Inflatable PO and RC Inflatable Thunderbirds 2) - I recently came across Bladez and I am totally taken with their amazing range of RC inflatable toys! These toys are inflatable but can be totally controlled via remote control, something both James and Evelyn love! The RC Inflatable PO comes with a chunky simple controller perfect for smaller hands and after a little practice something Evelyn (aged 2) was able to use. The Thunderbirds 2 RC Inflatable comes with a slightly different control that almost looks similar to a games console controller, but still with simple controls. Both the PO and Thunderbirds 2 have built in sound effects and a drive range of 30m! These have provided James and Evelyn with hours and hours of fun and despite being inflatable they are actually really durable. You can purchase these from the Bladez website and both are priced at just £24.99

7. NumNoms Lip Gloss Truck - There is no denying that NumNoms have taken playgrounds and parks by storm with so many funky and unique NumNoms to collect its easy to see why. NumNoms are collectible scented characters which you can mix and match to create your own flavour fusions. With that in mind NumNoms have taken it one step further and you can create your very own lip gloss flavour fusions with the NumNoms lip gloss truck! Simply use the lip gloss, scents and glitter provided to create your very own lip gloss. The NumNoms lip gloss truck is available via the lots of stores including Toys R Us, Amazon and Smyths.

8. Baby Annabel Sophia doll - Sophia is baby Annabel's big sister would make a great addition to any little ones toy collection. Sophia makes a great cuddling companion with her soft body and moveable arms/legs. Sophia is also great for those children who love brushing and styling hair as Sophia's soft golden locks are perfect for this. Baby Annabel's Sophia doll is great for encouraging imaginative role play and the development of responsibility and empathy. You can purchase the Baby Annabel Sophia doll from Amazon or Smyth's and is priced at around £29.99.

9. LEGO Ninjago salvage M.E.C set - As I mentioned above we love LEGO in this house and I know that its a classic toy and its not just the classic collection you can get. I am sure you are all aware of the many different themed LEGO you can get but check out the amazing LEGO Ninjago set the must have toy for any Ninjago fan! With this set you can Stage a mech battle between bounty-hunting Ronin, assisted by Nya against Skulkin warriors. The set includes 4 mini figures - Ronin with special M.E.C. outfit, Nya with Skybound outfit, Krazi and Frakjaw. The set also includes accesories such as a skate board and loads of weapons for the minifigures. This set is priced at £34.99 (we think an amazing price!) and is available from the online LEGO shop (as well as other retail stores and amazon). 


What toy from our latest gift guide do you think your children or relatives would like the most, or perhaps they have their eye on something else? Let us know in the comments below.

xXx

**Some of the products featured in the gift guide I received samples of to feature here. All words and opinions are my own and prices correct at the time of posting.**

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Children's Christmas Gift Guide #1!

Who can believe its November already! This year seems to be flying by and with that in mind im about to say THAT C word..... that's right its time to start thinking about Christmas!

For me personally I find that spreading out my Christmas shopping certainly helps me with the costs of Christmas so today I have put together a list of some of the toys we are loving the look of this Christmas.




1. Fuzzikins Craft Cottontail Cottage - Most children love craft activities but the Fuzzikins craft cottontail cottage is a craft with a difference, it can be continued to play with even after the crafting has finished. With the Fuzzikins cottage you can customize the rabbits and their house and also create accessories for them. The Cottontail Cottage playset comes with a cleverly engineered pop-up 3D play house which folds away neatly to save space when not being used. The set includes plenty of accessories to decorate the cottage with. My children are aged 2.5 years and almost 7 and both have loved creating and playing with this set so I can thoroughly recommend it. The set is priced at £19.99 which includes 2 rabbits and lots of accesories to decorate and design with, it is available from InterplayUK.

2. Dance Along Peekaboo - If your little ones love Twirlywoo's as much as Evelyn then the dance along Peekaboo is definitely one to add to your Christmas list. Press Peekaboo's head to see him spin and dance across the floor whilst playing the iconic Twirlywoo's theme tune, sure to get your little ones up and dancing along too. As well as dancing with Peekaboo Evelyn loved cuddling him to as he is so soft. Peekaboo is priced at £22.99 and is available from Golden Bear Toys.

3. Chocolate Shark Teeth - When it comes to stocking fillers I always try and add a chocolate treat in there and these Chocolate shark teeth are a great novelty treat idea! Made from fine milk chocolate and shaped just like little shark teeth these are a perfect stocking filler. They are also suitable for vegetarians too. These are priced at just £3.99 and are available at Lakeland.

4. Shadow Puppets Set - Ever since James went on camp with his scouting group he has loved making shadow puppets (they were doing them on the sides of their tents!). So when I came across this shadow puppet kit from Lakeland I knew it would be a big hit. The kit comes complete with a monster shaped torch, alien/monster silhouettes and even a play script to get you started on your creepy stories to go with your shadow puppets! Everything for the whole family to get involed in making your very own shadow puppet tales. The kit is priced at £9.99 and is available at Lakeland.

5 & 6. Muddy Puddles Lottie and Kite Flyer Finn - Lottie and Finn are the perfect dolls for your child if your are looking for a more natural and realistic version of dolls. These dolls are great and both James and Evelyn love them! As a mum I love that they are a realistic body shape, doing realistic activities and dressed in clothes both my children can relate too, they are great role model dolls! The dolls are not fiddly at all and its great that clothes can be shared between all Lottie/Finn dolls as one size fits all meaning you won't have to spend loads of extra money on clothes for each doll. Both Lottie and Finn are priced at £16.99 each and are available from the Lottie website.

7. Stunt Buggy KitWith this kit you can build your very own little electric buggy that can peform great stunts and wheelies! The kit is aimed at children aged 8+ but my almost 7 year old really enjoyed this too. It is easy to construct with no glue needed you simply fit together the interlocking printed thick card pieces, add the electrical and mechanical components, then have fun with your Buggy. James has had loads of fun with this and he was so amazed at seeing something he built actually doing stunts. This is such a great gift idea and priced at £9.99 its really good value for money too! Available from Interplay

8. Tin Robot Counting Money Box - This vintage style classic robot money box looks great and offers the modern twist of a digital display. The robot will count your coins as you place them in and will display just how much you have saved up on its digital display on his chest. I love this and its a great way to get your kids saving up their pocket money too! This is priced at £12.99 and is available from Lakeland.

What is at the top of your children's Christmas list this year?

xXx

**Some of the products featured in the gift guide I received samples of to feature here. All words and opinions are my own and prices correct at the time of posting.**

Sunday, 30 October 2016

International Wallpaper week with Graham & Brown.

Did you know that 3rd - 10th October was International Wallpaper week?

With this is mind we were recently contacted by the fabulous people over at Graham and Brown and asked if we would like to use their products to make over a room for international wallpaper week.

As it would happen we had recently stripped all the old wallpaper from James and Evelyns bedroom ready to decorate so we jumped at the chance to be able to decorate it with Graham and Brown.
After some time spent looking through the Graham and Brown website (there are so many lovely wallpapers and paints to choose from), I eventually decided on these.



Paint in the shade "Mermaid" and this funky monochrome "Superstar" black wallpaper

Since Evelyn and James share a bedroom I wanted something that wouldn't feel to gender specific and think these colour work really well.

The paint was lovely a thick and went on really well. It meant as we had white walls underneath we only needed one coat and it provided a really good coverage.



Next up we had the wallpaper to apply. Now neither myself or my husband are decorating experts and we were a little nervous about putting up wallpaper. However the Graham and Brown "paste the wall" wallpaper made it super easy to do. The wallpaper is a great quality meaning it makes it so much easier to put up and hard wearing when up.

The print itself is really bold and stands out against the teal colour of the walls and the white furnitue which I love.


Why not get inspired like us by International Wallpaper week and see if you can transform a room in your house with wallpaper. It could be a whole room for maximum impact or why not have a feature wall like us and make it a real wow factor. Its amazing how much difference having wallpaper in a room can make, giving it a real personality and focal point.

If you want to check our more of the paint or wallpaper available head over to the Graham and Brown website and prepare to want to decorate!


xXx

**I received these products free of charge in order to write my review. All words, photos and opinions are my own.**

Monday, 24 October 2016

Hatchimals **REVIEW**

Its one of the most talked about toys in the run up to Christmas this year and has already begun topping the Christmas lists of children everywhere, of course its Hatchimals!


These cute interactive magical creatures live inside their egg until you interact and play with them, enabling them to hatch and you can meet your surprise creature being held within the egg.

We actually hatched our egg live over on our Facebook page so if you want to watch head over to our Facebook page and watch our live Hatchimal egg hatching video.


Hatching your Hatchimal is pretty simple and lots of fun. The whole process can take anywhere between 20 and 30 minutes and requires you to interact with your Hatchimal during this time. Whilst your Hatchimal is still in its egg you will see its eyes lighting up. These lights are an indicator to how your Hatchimal is feeling and how you can keep it happy. Inside the box you will find a booklet which will tell you what each colour means and how to react to keep this to hand when you are hatching your Hatchimal.


After a little time your Hatchimal will begin to start pecking at the egg, its important your Hatchimal is placed on the floor whilst it is pecking and this will be indicated by a white/rainbow light shining from inside your egg. Your Hatchimal will continue to peck around the middle of the egg until cracks have formed all around the outside. At this point you can give your Hatchimal a helping hand coming out of the egg by carefully peeling away the top section of the egg. Now you can finally discover which Hatchimal you have hatched!

Here is ours ....


Once your Hatchimal has emerged from its egg it will sing a HATCHY BIRTHDAY song!

I have to admit I was a little skeptical about how much the kids would play with our new little hatched friend once the excitement of the egg hatching was over but I didn't need to worry they love our new Penguala friend.

Once your Penguala or Draggle has hatched it will go through 3 stages baby, toddler and kid. As your new Hatchimal moves through the stages it will interact with you doing things such as walking, talking, dancing and even repeating back things you say in its own voice. Our Hatchimal has recently started dancing which the kids love to watch, its such a fun interactive toy which really appeals to the kids.


I know that since Hatchimals are so sought after this Christmas stock has been pretty limited but don't forget you can keep an eye on stock at your local Argos store where you can reserve online and check stock in all your local stores regularly with ease. To check Hatchimal stock at your local Argos visit the Argos website (I have popped links below to a Pengualas and Draggles egg via Argos so you can easily check stock).

Hatchimals Pengualas Pink Egg.

Hatchimals Draggles Green Egg.

After hatching our very own Hatchimal I can confirm that this toy has been a big hit! It was so exciting watching our Hatchimal pecking its way out of its egg and building up all our suspense to meet our Hatchimal. Once it had hatched the kids loved nurturing and caring for their new Penguala and trying to keep her happy and meet her needs. The dancing and games you can also play with them are lots of fun too.

Has your little one asked for a Hatchimal this year? Which one are they hoping for a Pengualas or Draggles Egg?

xXx


** We received this toy free of charge for the purpose of this review. All words, opinions and thoughts are my own.**