Saturday, 20 May 2017

Free Kids Party at Smyths Toys!

If you are looking for a fun way to kick start the May half term with the kids then why not head on down to Smyths Toys Superstore!


Smyths Toys Superstore are having a party and everyone is invited! Just head on down to your local Smyths store between 9am and 2pm on Saturday 27th May to join in the fun!

There is so much fun and excitement to be has with a DJ, Face painting, Candy floss and every child will get a free goodie bag (whilst stocks last) full of lots of giveaways from your favourite characters including LEGO, Play-Doh and My Little Pony. There will also be a raffle running every hour where you can be in with a chance to win a £50 Smyths Toys Superstore voucher.

With all this going on for FREE its definitely an event not to miss and its already marked on my calendar as I know the kids will love it, we hope to see you all there too!

All Smyths stores are taking part in this great big party and you find your closest store via the Smyths website here.


xXx


**This post was written in collaboration with Smyths Toys Superstore**

Friday, 19 May 2017

Little Giggles Soft Play - A totally unique soft play experience

Both Evelyn and James love soft play and it can be a great way to let them burn off some of that built up energy especially on wet rainy days. However soft plays do seem to all be quite similar and its easy to feel like if you've been to one you've been to them all! But that's where Little Giggles soft play centre are breaking the mould with their fun, sensory soft play experience!



Little Giggles soft play is based in Yate (just across the road from the main shopping centre and bus station) and is aiming to break the perceptions of your typical soft play centres with their new centre which has a strong focus on development through light and movement play. Nearly all the equipment within Little Giggles has a moving or light up element to it giving a great sensory feel as well as providing lots of stimulation, fun and excitement for the kids.


Little Giggles is on the upper level of a new development in Yate (stairs and lift to entrance) and we have been so excited to go try it out (me as well as Evelyn of course!). There is tons of parking so we didn't need to worry about that and upon entering we were greeted by several friendly staff members all clearly visible by their fun vibrant uniforms. Payment was quick and easy and off we went to enjoy the centre.

Within the soft play centre there is the main soft play area as well as a large seating area with tables and chairs and a café serving hot food such as jacket potatoes and panini's as well as cakes, soft drinks and coffee/tea.

Evelyn's eyes lit up at the sight of the soft play and it really is something totally different to your typical soft play centres. Gone is the dingy multi level, outdated soft play apparatus its all about the funky, clean and vibrant equipment here and the lights certainly do catch your eye. Evelyn loved the fact that lots of the items moved without having to ask me to push her (she likes to be independent!).

(The spinning Dolphins were a big hit!)

(as were these little "peanuts" that went around but backwards!)

It really feels like each piece of equipment has been carefully thought out here at Little Giggles with everything having a light, sound or touch element rather than just being something to climb. Something we had never seen at a soft play before was this water table! Its such a fantastic idea and can be jumped on, led on or just to jiggle about on, there are plastic fish and seaweed as well as lights concealed within and its such a great idea. Evelyn loved trying to catch all the fish!


Even the slides had an extra element with the one below having cascading lights and the larger slide (seen in the background here) has a "bubble wrap" feel with giant plastic air pockets all the way down the slide!


I was a big fan of the layout too as all the tables face the main soft play area and the whole area is visible from the seating area so those with slightly older children who prefer to head in alone can still keep watch on your little ones. We didn't eat any hot food in the café today as we went straight from the morning school run but the food did smell delicious as we were leaving just before lunch. We can also vouch that the cookies and millionaires shortbread slice was scrumptious and I would say the prices were quite fair at around £4.50 for 2 cold drinks and 2 cakes.

Little Giggles is for children age 0-8 with children under 9 unable to play however I would definitely say the soft play would be more suit to ages 1-5 as James is 7 and I'm not sure he would be as entertained as Evelyn was.

Prices for entry in to the soft play may seem a little more expensive than your "average" soft play but this definitely is NOT your average soft play and so the prices do reflect how much thought and effort has gone to making this soft play as great as it is. There is also no time limit to play (unless the centre gets very busy when they may inforce a 2 hour play limit) so we felt whilst it was a little more expensive it was most definitely worth it.

If you are planning on visiting regularly there is also the option of becoming a member too which brings down the prices of each visit for the entire year!

If you are thinking of visiting Little Giggles soft play do it! You won't regret it and I am certain both you and the kids will want to return, soft play just won't be the same for us again as Little Giggles have certainly set the bar high and we will certainly be back... very soon!

(The balloon chamber had Evelyn in fits of giggles as the balloons bounced around the windy room whilst she tried to catch them all!)

Do you think Little Giggles is somewhere your kids would love too?

xXx


Thursday, 18 May 2017

Parenthood - The things they don't tell you!

Becoming a parent can be such a special time, meeting your baby for the first time and all those magical moments our family and friends tell us to look forward to.

However most parents will be aware that whilst they moments are very special there are so many more moments that make you stop and think... "well they didn't tell me about this!". I have been speaking to some other mums about these hilarious parenting moments to share with you all and here are some of those moments we have all "enjoyed" since becoming parents.


- You will never pee alone ever again, need the toilet in a public place? Then you best be about ready to be exposed to a restroom full of women waiting to use your cubicle as your toddler tried to escape whilst you sit on the loo! Trying to keep the door closed with one foot without peeing on yourself as you balance on the edge of the toilet seat growling your child's name through your teeth so nobody outside can hear you!


- Playdates will very rarely contain actual "play" think more along the lines of becoming a duplo referee. Stalking your child around the cramped soft play grabbing their socks as they fling them at you as they run. Trying to hold some sort of conversation through the soft play ball pit with another mum about how little sleep you've had whilst never actually purchasing that coffee you swore you would get when you first walked in!


- Toddlers can be gross like really gross - " Today I picked a broken Pom bear out of my 1 year olds butt crack. I have no idea how it got there. I wish someone would have warned me about how gross some days are!" - Abbie from www.mamawilkos.com


- Kids certainly don't mince their words! - I wish someone told me how straight forward talking kids are! Many of times my girls have said something about someone aloud and it's REALLY embarassing! Never mind about being super confident, not giving a damn what others think... my middle doesn't care if someone sees her scratching her bum in public! Beth from www.life-as-mum.co.uk


- The poo! Oh yes ALL the poo! - I wish someone had warned me I would end up stepping on poo. With no shoes on. Or socks. More than once. Laura from Www.mumoam.co.uk


So next time I walk past Mothercare and feel my ovaries twitching at the teeny tiny sleep suits and baby booties, I will switch my mind to the less glamorous (but totally hilarious) side of parenting I think we often forget and remind myself exactly why we chose to stop at 2 kids!  

Do you have any funny parenthood tales to tell that you have since discovered after having kids?  I would love to hear them in the comments below!

xXx

Sunday, 14 May 2017

May Madness Giveaway!

Can you believe we are in May already? This year seems to be zooming by but I have to admit I'm glad its almost summer (lets just hope we get lots of sun!). Evelyn is a bit older this year and I can't wait to have lots of days out with her and James over the summer holidays.

Today I have a fantastic giveaway to share with you all! The chance to win not 1 but 2 Fire Tablets (a kids one and an adults one!). Perfect for keeping the kids entertained on long journeys or for just catching up social media whilst you sunbathe in the garden. Check out the giveaway below and enter for your chance to win.

Once again a whole host of amazing bloggers have teamed up to offer you the chance to win a great prize (something we couldn't do individually), but who are this group of amazing people; well check them out:





Joining forces together has meant we can bring you the chance to win not only a Fire HD 8 Tablet (8gb) but a Fire Kids Edition Tablet (in pink or blue) alongside some accessories (think screen protector and a case for the Fire HD 8). Now that's going to make for one lucky winner!

So how can you be in with a chance of winning? Well all you need to do is let us know:

What do you have planned for this summer? Anything exciting?

The only mandatory entry is to answer the above question, all following entries are optional. However, we would, of course, love it if you could give the bloggers behind this giveaway some support. Full T&C can be found within the Rafflecopter widget.


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Good Luck everyone!!


xXx

Summer style with JD Williams **REVIEW**

Since becoming a mum my style has most definitely changed, its no longer just about what looks good but what's practical too!

But just because I need practical clothes doesn't mean I don't want to look nice and summer is my favourite season for fashion as Maxi dresses are my favourite and I love all the summer styles that have been appearing online.

They are comfy, look great and are practical for most occasions including chasing after the kids! I love how they can be dressed up for an evening or down for the beach and there are so many designs out there now you can be as colourful as you want.

I recently discovered JD Williams who are an online store for women's fashion with an emphasis on contemporary women's clothing, ranging from sizes 12-32. I was offered the chance to choose a few summer pieces in order to share my top summer style tips with you so here is what I chose!

I went for this beautiful Joe Browns Printed Maxi Dress as the deep blue colour immediately caught my eye and I thought the pattern was really pretty. Its floor length and the straps are chunky enough that I could wear my normal bra underneath with no issues. The dress also comes with a detachable belt which was great for defining your waist which can often get lost on long dresses.


I teamed it with these Heavenly soles sandals. I felt the blue diamante detail tied in nicely with the colour in the dress and I was immediately sold by the claim of them having supreme underfoot comfort! I spend a lot of my day on my feet chasing around an energetic toddler so a sandal that's looks pretty and can provide me with comfort has to be a winner, right?


My top fashion tips out there this summer would be -

- Choose clothes you are comfortable in and that allow you to move, like the maxi dress. It means you can still look good and chase the kids around too!

- Bold colour or patterns. Don't be afraid to add some colour to your wardrobe this summer and if big brights aren't your thing add some colour in with your shoes or accessories.

- I am also loving the floaty, dreamy dresses and tunics this summer. They look great and won't leave you feeling too hot in the sun.

Do you have any summer favourites from the JD Williams website or any top fashion tips for this summer season? I would love to hear about them below!

xXx



** I received these items of clothing in exchange for this post, I was not paid. All opinions are my own**



Sunday, 7 May 2017

Folly Farm Adventure Park and Zoo **REVIEW**

Last week we headed off for a short break at Bluestone Wales and I really wanted to explore a little and find a day our for the kids whilst we were there, that's when I came across Folly Farm Adventure Park and Zoo!

Searching their website and discovering they had been given the Best Day Out in Wales award I knew this place was going to be good but I definitely wasn't prepared for just how good!

Folly Farm Adventure Park and Zoo has over 750 animals for you to visit and you can also get up close to furry and feathery farmyard friends in the farmyard barn. If you want more than animals though, no worries as Folly Farm has over 16 different rides in their vintage themed fairground, as well as 8 outdoor adventure and play area's. With this in mind Folly Farm really does have something to keep every member of the family happy.


Folly Farm is clearly sign posted as you approach so finding it was simple, the parking is actually in a car park across the road which we hadn't realised initially. However there is actually an underpass directly from the car park to the entrance of the park so no need to cross any dangerous roads and it meant there was a huge amount of parking available.

At the entrance we were handed a map and wrist bands for the kids, they were the kind you get at swimming (the tough paper kind with a sticky tab) which had space for you to write parents name and contact number in case your little ones got lost. I love this idea and love that it comes free and standard for all admissions in to the park.

Upon entering we were immediately met with the The Jolly Barn full of farm animals of all kinds from turkeys to donkeys and everything in between. Right by the entrance we found a big board which listed all the "meet and greet" type events they had going on in the barn throughout the day which was a good idea as it meant we saw it straight away and could remember any that the kids really wanted to do.


We ended up meeting the bunnies and the sheep (sheep are Evelyn's favourite!) at various times in the day and the kids loved it. The staff who ran these were really friendly and were full of information and answers to all the kids questions which was fantastic. The barn where these take park is near the entrance though so best to keep track of the time so you can make it back in time if you want to see something in particular.


We moved on from the barn and came to the Vintage themed fairground which is indoors so usable in all weather. I have to admit I was a bit dubious of this as I'm not a fan of having to spend loads of extra money on a day out but I was really impressed by this one. You pay for the rides in tokens with each token costing 50p, yep that's right just 50p!! and most rides were only 1 token with the maximum being 2 tokens. I was thrilled that the rides were so cheap and it meant the kids got to go on all the rides they wanted without it costing a fortune.




After the fairground we headed outside for lunch and decided to bring our own picnic. There are plenty of picnic benches dotted around, lots of them with some great views of the animals too which I loved.

As we were eating lunch the kids had spied the giraffes and so off we walked ran to see the giraffes and we couldn't believe just how close we could get to these magical animals. We were so lucky that they were right by the fence but Folly Farm also have a viewing platform that goes over the giraffe enclosure meaning wherever they are you get a great view of them.



We also saw penguins, rhinos, flamingos, reindeer, hogs, meerkats, lions and so many more animals during our visit there were just so many to see at the turn of every corner. We have been to lots of zoo's but felt this place offered the most amount of animals to see. The enclosures for the animals looked great too, nice big open spaces, clean enclosures and plenty to keep the animals happy and entertained which is always a good thing to see in places like this. Its very clear that Folly Farm really care about each and every animal in their park.





One of the things we kept commenting on at Folly Farm was just how clean it was! Honestly it was so clean even in the barn area, we didn't see any litter or mess our whole visit which made the whole visit more enjoyable. We also loved how the park is set out as its set out in a way that you can't really miss anything as long as you follow it round.

Prices for Folly Farm are really good -

Adult£13.95
Child (3-15 years)£11.95
Toddler (2 years)
£4.95

The above price gets you entry in to the park, all the animals and adventure area's as well as a tractor/trailer ride which takes you around the fields of the farm opposite the car park area. We found this was a lovely way to end our day and the recording that played as you travel around was really informative for us and the kids. It told us all about the animals on the farm as we drove past them in the fields.


If you are thinking of paying a visit to Folly Farm Adventure Park and Zoo I would thoroughly recommend it, I would also recommend getting there at opening time as there is just so much to do you really do need the whole day to fit it all in!

Have you ever been to Folly Farm Adventure Park and Zoo before?

xXx


**We received free entry in to Folly Farm for the purpose of this review, all opinions are my own**

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Our stay at Bluestone Wales **REVIEW**

If you have seen any of my social media pages recently you may have realised that last week we were at Bluestone in Wales!

When an email landed in my inbox a few months ago inviting us along for a stay I couldn't contain my excitement. The place looked amazing online and I knew the kids would love it, well last week the time finally come for us to visit so we packed up our car and off we went.

Upon arriving we came up to the check in point for Bluestone which thanks to their "drive thru" style check in was super quick and really easy. Its just a case of driving up to the indicated window and handing over either your booking reference number or surname and you are handed your welcome pack and keys and shown where your lodge is!


As we were in a Ramsey lodge we could check in from 3pm and had very little time to wait so we parked up for a little bit and checked out the map we had received in our welcome pack. In no time 3pm had arrived and we were shown through the gate and off we went to find our lodge. We had been given a map which our accommodation had been circled on but everything is so well sign posted at Bluestone finding our lodge was really easy to find.

Our lodge was beautiful and you can read more about our Bluestone accommodation here.

Bluestone is a no car zone (with exception to check in and check out days where cars are allowed back on site), however you can hire bikes or golf buggies to get around whilst you are there. We had been undecided at home about hiring one as we weren't sure how far away our lodge would be from the amenities. We soon discovered we were quite a walk away and opted to hire a golf buggy on our second day.


We were really lucky and the buggy hire centre had a buggy for us however Bluestone do advise that you book these before arrival, there is no guarantee there will be any left if you wait until you arrive on site. The cost for buggy hire is £92 for the week (with bikes averaging about the same for a family of 4). I did think this was a little steep but after a day of walking up the hills with a non compliant toddler it was certainly worth it for us.

There is so much to see at Bluestone I would suggest setting aside a few hours to explore each day, there are mapped out walks as well as the village, lots of parks, the lake and the steep ravine to name a few. You will also receive a timetable when you check in which will list and detail all the Bluestone activities on offer during your stay with times, dates and prices. There was something for everyone from baby sensory and messy play to tree climbing, high ropes and even little excursions little ones can go on without parents. James really wanted to take part but lots of the "older kids" activities were 8 + and as he is only 7 was unable to join in. I know when we next return he will have a whole host of activities on his list to do!



There are also plenty of places to eat on site at Bluestone from the Chippy to serving your classic fish and chips to Camp Smokey where you can dine al fresco on food cooked on the open fired barbecue! We did grab some chips from the Chippy after our day at Folly Farm and they were delicious and the prices were really good too.

There is also the Ty Coffi where you can stop for a coffee to refuel or an ice cream to cool down (the ice cream is amazing and a large variety of flavours such as chocolate brownie, candy floss and bubblegum!)


The smell coming from the Farmhouse Grill was amazing (and they apparently have a children's play area to keep the kids entertained whilst you wait too!) Unfortunately we didn't eat out at any of the restaurants this time as Evelyn was so tired on an evening from all our exploring but we will definitely be trying them out next time we visit.

The Blue Lagoon and Adventure centre were big hits with both James and Evelyn too, with the adventure centre evening featuring a LEGO wall, HUGE soft play centre and even a 9 hole game of crazy golf. With usage of all these things included in your holiday cost! Despite lots of the lodges seeming occupied none of the amenities seemed overly busy which was great. Bluestone never felt cramped or busy at any point which was a big plus for me and a credit to how well Bluestone is organised.


The Blue Lagoon is fantastic and we managed to squeeze in 2 visits here as it was such a hit with the kids. There is a wave machine, lazy river and as well as the main pool there are 2 smaller pools with a beach/pirate theme perfect for younger kids! Evelyn loves all the fountains and spouts in these she could play with. James loved the 3 water slides on offer in the lagoon and was thrilled to discover he was tall enough for them all! The swimming pool is actively watched by vigilant lifeguards who were doing a great job, the slides were watched by lifeguards too which meant they ran really smoothly and safely at all times.


All the staff we met at Bluestone were fantastic, there really is nothing that is to much trouble and from what we saw they all went out of their way to ensure everyone on site has the most amazing time. We had a little issue with out buggy giving up on us at one point and the staff were straight out to our lodge to try to fix/replace it. The staff we met were always smiling and took the time to engage with the kids which of course Evelyn loved as she is such a chatter box.

Whether its the thrill of the high ropes, the adventure of the nature trails or the relaxation of the spa Bluestone has it covered. The park itself is has a friendly village atmosphere that instantly makes you want to smile and relax, which is exactly what holidays should do right?

(Check out this short clip of part of a buggy ride we took to get back to our lodge through Bluestone)

Leaving Bluestone left us all emotional, we may have only been there for 5 days but it already felt like home. Bluestone gave us quality family time with freedom, fresh air and memories that we will remember forever. I know that we will be returning, we couldn't not return its been so special for us. Its the kind of place that I hope my kids will bring their kids in years to come and relive all the amazing memories we are making right now!

If you have been thinking about booking a Bluestone break, do it! You won't regret it, its almost impossible to regret visiting somewhere so beautiful and there really is something for everyone.

xXx


**We were invited to stay at Bluestone for the purpose of this review. I was not paid for this post and all opinions are my own.**



Bluestone - The accommodation **REVIEW**

As we pulled up at Bluestone we couldn't contain our excitement at getting into our accommodation. We've never stayed in a lodge before and had heard great things about the ones in Bluestone. As we were in a Ramsey lodge we were able to check in from 3pm and we eagerly appeared at the barrier to get in a few minutes early expecting queues but were met with none. We were let in along with our map we were handed at check in which showed us where to find out lodge.

We didn't really need the map however as all the "street names" and places are clearly sign posted throughout the park so it was just a case of following these until we reached our area which was Forest View. Be warned though its all one way once you get into the park so if you take a wrong turn you have to go right round again. Once we had found our lodge it was a simple case of tapping our key card on the door to gain access.


Accommodation at Bluestone consists of lodges, cottages and studio apartments with varying sizes to suit all needs. From the studios and 1 bedroom cottages that sleep 2 people to the huge Dina's bunkhouse lodge sleeping up to 14 and lots of choice in between.

All lodges are set out on their own little pitch, with the exception to the Caldey lodges which can be found in two's as these lodges actually have a very clever door inside which can connect the 2 lodges if you wish (perhaps if you were holidaying with friends and both wanted your own lodge but to stay connected). This can however stay locked if you don't know the family staying next door.

We were given a Ramsey lodge for our stay and it was far better than we could ever have imagined. The Ramsey lodge is spacious and has that homely lodge feel but with all the mod con's such as dishwashers, wet rooms and a flat screen TV!


But what really makes the Ramsey lodge special is that it is actually "upside down living" with the bedrooms situated on the ground floor along with an ensuite bathroom for each bedroom. The living area, dining area and kitchen are all upstairs with an open plan living design for this area. Meaning that all the beautiful views at Bluestone aren't wasted as they are perfectly framed by a huge patio/balcony area in the living space giving you the opportunity to take them all in as you sit and relax.


The lodge was really cosy and as I mentioned before came with all the mod con's. The dishwasher was a bit of a luxury to us as we don't have one at home so took a little while to work out how to use it. We also found a microwave, kettle, toaster and all the usual cutlery, plates etc. We were even supplied with a little starter pack that contained 2 dishwasher tablets, washing up liquid, bin bags and washing up cloths which was a lovely touch.


The living area included a flat screen TV and dvd player which was perfect for the kids in the mornings. I loved the inclusion of a beautiful big table in the dining area which meant we could all sit together at breakfast and meal times, something I really miss being able to do at home so this got a big thumbs up from us!

Downstairs in the bedrooms and ensuite we found all our bedlinen included as well as a bath and hand towel for each person. Our double bedroom ensuite had a toilet, sink and bath with a shower unit over the top of the bath. The twin bedroom ensuite had a toilet, sink and wet room shower unit which was ideal for washing the kids without getting a bad back trying to peer round a shower or lean over a bath. It also made it much quicker and less messy having the wet room available.


There was only 1 issue we had with our lodge which was the beds (well more the mattress), these seemed quite hard and we struggled to get comfy at night. However I can appreciate that everyone has different preference for their mattress and it would be impossible to please everyone. The kids slept on theirs absolutely fine so perhaps its just that I prefer a softer mattress. Everything supplied with our beds was great though, the pillows were lovely and soft and the duvet super warm.


I loved that all the lodges were on their own little pitch and you weren't overlooked by anyone. It felt private enough that you had your own space but still part of the friendly village atmosphere Bluestone offers. The lodges sit perfectly within the beautiful countryside landscape and rolling hills, clearly helped by the authentic wooden lodge style exterior.

We really couldn't fault the lodge at Bluestone, they seem to have found the perfect balance between cosy lodge and modern amenities making your stay even more enjoyable.

If you want to find out what we thought of the rest of the Bluestone site check out our Bluestone Stay post.

Have you stayed at Bluestone before? If so which accommodation did you stay in?

xXx


**We were given a break at Bluestone for the purpose of this review, all thoughts and opinions are my own**

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Why im taking my child on a term time holiday.

Not many of you will have missed the whole term time holiday saga that has been plastered across the press lately, what with the Jon Platt case coming to a conclusion recently. However amongst a lot of parents, teachers and non parents this is still a huge debate.

Is it right to take your child out school for a holiday during term time?

For me there are a number of factors to consider, and there should be no cut and paste rule for all. Previous attendance should be a big part of that decision and how each child is coping at school and whether they are reaching expected levels at the time another.
I feel that head teachers should be given back some of that power to be able to assess each child as a individual and then decide themselves as to whether holiday should be granted. Not a government or council systems with fining parents at the front of their minds making the decisions.

This year I will be taking James out of school for a term time holiday and do I feel guilty... nope not one bit. I'm prepared for a fine if that does happen (and quite frankly a £60 fine doesn't seem half as bad as some of the holiday company price hikes for school holiday breaks!) but that's another rant all together!.

We will be going on a holiday that quite frankly I couldn't afford to do in school holidays, we will be doing it as a family and spending some quality family time together away from work, school and everything else that comes with our hectic daily routines. We will be exploring, learning and going on adventures. We will see things we can't see in our home town and learn things he can't find sat behind a desk. James will spend time learning about nature, climbing, swimming and being in a new environment where the opportunity to learn about things not taught in school will be plenty. At the end of our holiday I will be the parent there to help him catch up and I have already asked for work sheets which the school have happily provided so he won't be behind when he gets back!


Learning comes in all different forms any teacher can tell you that, some children thrive working in a  notebook whilst others need a more hands on experience. Of course I don't expect my child's teacher to be able to offer so many experiences and cater to ever childs individual needs. She works her very best to keep a class of 30 (very different) children happy, learning and educated within the school setting. However I also don't expect to be told no when I am able to offer these things for my own child!

James has a perfect attendance record, he is learning above the expected standard for all subjects and a super confident reader. Of course I have school to thank for that but (without blowing my own trumpet) I would like to think that some of that also came from me, his parent. The person who reads with him every night, the person who practises his spelling with him every week, the person who helps him complete homework sheets and times tables. The person who makes decisions based on the well being and the best choices for my son since the day he was born!


I'm the parent who taught him to count, to draw, to speak and even walk before he even bag school. I would like to think the government might want to give me a little credit that I am able to make the best choices for my child when it comes to taking him on holiday. This system in my mind is flawed it is stopping families from going on holiday, spending time together to bond away from day to day worries. It is forcing families in to a situation where they have to stress over a decision that should ultimately be theirs to make anyway.

I would just like to point out that in no way am I saying that we should just be able to pull our children out of school when we fancy all year round. I can see how disruptive this would be and how this could begin to effect a child's work. As I mentioned above there are several factors that need to be considered but the power definitely need to be shifted back to teachers, head teachers and parents the people who are teaching these children, parenting these children and want the best for them!

How do you feel about term time holidays? Would you ever take your child out of school for a holiday during term time?

xXx

Monday, 27 March 2017

Sleep Tight All Night sleeping aid **REVIEW**

Did you know that March is National Bed Month? Sounds great right but as parents most of us will agree that at some point or another bed times have been hard with out little ones!

Evelyn has never really slept well, in fact we thought to ourselves that things would get better as she older we couldn't have been more wrong! Evelyn likes to fight bedtime and still at almost 3 wakes in the night which can be difficult and tiring for us all.

When we were recently asked if we would like to try out the Sleep Tight All Night sleep aid and I knew it had to be worth a try.


The sleep tight all night is a 4 in 1 sleep aid concealed within a super cute cuddly companion. It uses soothing music and a light system to not only help your child drift off to sleep but to stay in bed until morning time. It offers a unique sleep aid system that has been based on scientific studies relating to the colours associated with inhibiting and encouraging sleep. That's not all though as this cuddly companion can be switched in to day time mode, complete with chirpy upbeat phrases to engage with your child in the day time.


You set the timings for these lights yourself with the easy to use buttons attached to the light module. You simply select how long you would like your child to sleep (anywhere between 30 minutes and 12 hours) and what sounds you would like if any. You can then push the button to the lock symbol and this will lock all your choices in place meaning they can't be moved or changed regardless of how wriggly your child is in bed!


Evelyn was delighted when she realised her new bedtime companion was a cuddly unicorn and I have to admit even I was taken by just how soft it was. For the first couple of uses it was more of a novelty and it did take a few nights for her to realise what the red and green lights meant but once she had the hang of it she was even telling her big brother when it was time to get up.

This  hasn't really stopped her night waking's but it has helped her settle back much quicker when she has woken which really is the purpose of this sleep aid. The music you can set is really soothing (falling raindrops, soothing surf, gentle heartbeat, whispering waterfall and comforting crickets) and having the soft glowing light as she settled back off definitely helped for her. She has also started saying "its morning my unicorn is green, can I get up?" in the mornings which is pretty cute and means she has started to gather what the lights mean which is great and has stopped her climbing of bed at 5am!


I also really like the fact you can set the timings on this in 30 minute increments as it makes it perfect for not only bedtime but nap time too!

These are aimed at children aged 12 months +, Evelyn is 2 (almost 3) and it has been perfect for her. Its definitely something I can see her using for some years to come too. If you have slightly older children then watch out for the new sleep tight all night characters coming in Autumn time which include Batman and a Dinosaur!

You can find the full range of sleep tight all night bedtime companions via the Golden Bear website. Be sure to let me know which is your favourite!

xXx


**We received the sleep tight all night unicorn free to enable us to write this review. All opinions, thoughts and photos are my own.**

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Whatever your choices parenting is hard!

Every day there seems to be a new debate when it comes to pregnancy, new mums and babies. The formula/breast, cloth/disposable nappies and even vaginal/ caesarean births seem to be up for debate but why as parents do we want to judge other parents for their choices?. After all we are all parents and all fully aware of just how hard parenting is regardless of our choices.

There are pro's and con's to all choices we are given to make when it comes to our babies and raising them. Some are medical, some are personal and some choices are taken out of our hands for various reasons. So why when it comes to making our choices do we fear being judged and by the people we hope would understand.. other parents!


When we make choices for our children we all think them through, we choose them because we genuinely feel this will be the best option for us. Its not like we just flip a coin and hope for the best, pushing through even if something isn't working. Of course not we all want the best for our children and what works for some may not work for others, that doesn't mean its wrong.

There have been so many times as a parent where I have felt the need to justify my choices only to kick myself later in the day for feeling this way. I am the parent and my children are happy (mostly aside from tantrums!), healthy and active. Yes my youngest doesn't sleep through the night, it would appear she is some sort of nocturnal creature who enjoys keeping us awake lol! But I don't think that changes any of my choices would have made the slightest bit of difference.


We see pictures just like the one above over social media and we are quick to assume that these other parents have it "easy" or that there children couldn't possibly misbehave. Of course deep down we all know that's not true! In fact in the picture above this was a moment captured from a hard day. There had been tantrums, screaming, refusing to walk and both of them ate way too much sand that day. But in this photo we are smiling, we are happy and we are family just like you who have our ups, our downs and most definitely out fair share of tantrums and wrong decisions but ultimately it doesn't matter because we have each other and we get by.

In 20 years time when our children are all grown, becoming adults and maybe even thinking about a family themselves. They won't look back and remember what milk they drank or what nappies they wore. They will remember the love we gave, the hugs they had and hopefully the support we as parents can offer in supporting their choices. No judgement, no criticism and no doubt that they will do their best just like you did with them.

So come on mums, dads, parents, carers new mums or mums who's children are grown lets stop judging each other and be proud of the choices we made for our children what ever they may be. We don't need slogans or riddles to tell us what way is best to feed our children or how to raise them we just need to support each other, parenting is hard enough without doubting ourselves too.


xXx