Sunday, 15 October 2017

Will you pick Snot this Christmas with Smyths Toy Store?

This year Smyths want you to head down to your local Smyths store and pick snot! Yep you heard me right, pick snot! But wait not all is at it seems, put away your tissues and the idea's of kids with bogeys its this adorable little fella called SNOT!

Smyths have realised this cute little plush called Snot and for every snot you pick and take home with you your helping other children too. That's because all profits made from the sale of Snot will go to Great Ormond Street Children's hospital.

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Fuzzy-Felts are back with John Adams! **REVIEW**

Fuzzy-felts are back, well actually I don't think they ever really went anywhere but John  Adams have recently brought out these fantastic Fuzzy-Felts sets that remind me of the sets I used to play with as a kid.

Fuzzy-Felts are one of those classic toys that most of us will remember playing with as some point in our childhood, a simple yet super effective toy that manages to capture the imagination off all regardless of age.

Monday, 2 October 2017

Im a Worrier, Its who I am!

I'm a worrier its who I am, I spent half my life making decisions and then wondering if I made the right one and that only got worse when I had kids!

We all just want the best for our children and so of course we want to make the best decisions and those decisions start as soon as they are born. I was filled with anxiety and worry about everything I did as soon they handed me my tiny baby in my arms. Was I holding him right? Was I feeding him right? Was he warm/cool enough... you get the picture.

The Smyths Toys Catalogue has landed!

The kids could barely contain their excitement this weekend when the brand new Smyths toy catalogue landed on our doorstep, they got straight to work circling all their favourite items and declaring what they would like for Christmas!

Saturday, 30 September 2017

Glimmies Rainbow Friends - Glimhouse **REVIEW**

I don't know many kids who don't love the magic and fantasy of fairies and now Glimmies are helping the magic come alive with their tiny Glimmies, the little star fairies!

Glimmies were sent by the moon to take care of the "Glimmieswood" forest animals and once dark Glimmies magically light up with the wave of a hand.

Monday, 25 September 2017

Cassie the Cat Trunki **REVIEW** and **GIVEAWAY**

Anyone who has travelled with children will know the sheer volume of luggage you need to take with you whenever you travel. Gone are the days of 1 suitcase, now 1 suitcase just about fits their toys and nic naks the kids insist on bringing. But the Trunki might just be the answer, with its generous space for all your kids items and doubling up as a ride on for tired legs the kids will be desperate to take their very own suitcase on holiday.

There are 2 new Trunki's on the scene now too, Rocco the racing car and Cassie the cat! We were very kindly offered one to try out, Evelyn chose Cassie and instantly fell in love when it arrived. The eye catching purple and cat details really stand out and give it the extra cuteness factor for sure.

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Tinsy Winsy Weeny Tot Dolls **REVIEW**

Whenever Evelyn goes quiet you can almost guarantee to find her playing mums and babies with her dolls. She loves playing with her dolls, caring for them and playing mums so of course she wants to bring them with her everywhere we go! However her dolls are quite big and bulky and she gets tired carrying them around quite quickly, so when I heard about these new Tinsy Winsy Weeny tots dolls I knew they could be a solution!

Thursday, 14 September 2017

3 toddler friendly Autumn crafts.

Can you believe the summer is over already!? There is definitely more of a chill in the air and the nights are getting darker earlier and earlier by the day. We drove past some conker tree's on our way to school this week and my son was so excited about going to collect conkers again this, which for me thinking about what Autumn crafts we could do.

So here are some of our favourite Autumn crafts, if you do have a go at any of them I would love to see your results over on my Facebook page or Twitter page!

Conker catapillers!

Gather up lots of different sized conkers and get a grown up to drill a small hole through the centre of each one (we used a thick needle and thread for some but it was quite tough so a drill would be quicker). Thread each one on to wool or string making sure you use your biggest conker first as this will be the head, we then placed an acorn casing at the tail end of ours. Tie of the ends of your string and you could now draw a face on your catapiller or even paint it! We used some googly eyes and a pipe cleaner for ours.

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

My Baby Days Are Over.

This week I have waved both James and Evelyn off for their first days at Junior School and Pre-School! Barely able to believe that this time has whizzed by already and that I'm actually stood here when it felt like only yesterday I had a baby in my arms.

Thursday, 31 August 2017

Evelyn is starting pre-school!

As I sit here now labelling up Evelyn's coat and get new water bottle I think back to before I had her, the worry I had about how I would adapt to being a parent of two and of course whether I was having a little boy or a little girl!

Then on Monday 9th June 2014 Evelyn came bursting into the world with an almighty cry, giving us a glimpse into the diva she was going to be as she grew. Evelyn certainly hasn't been the most easy baby or toddler for that matter. Meal times are trying at best and even now 3 years on we still haven't cracked bed time or sleeping through. But saying all that she has brought us so much joy, so much happiness and so many moments of laughter.

Ben 10 Toys **REVIEW**

You may have seen across social media that there is a Ben 10 Twitter party happening with the chance to discover lots of the new range of Ben 10 toys. There will even be a chance to win some Ben 10 goodies for yourself, just make sure you use the hashtag #Ben10Toys to join in!

We received a selection of these toys to show you and to test them out before the chat so here is what we thought.

Friday, 18 August 2017

The reality of the summer holiday...

A few weeks back as schools were winding down for the summer, parents everywhere were panicking. Scouring Pinterest and Facebook groups for things to keep our children entertained for the entire summer holidays, all 6 weeks long of it!

Now its not that I don't enjoy spending time with the kids, I actually love spending time with them and getting to see them playing together. Its also great fun being able to go out and about and not being tied down to the regime of the school run times. However 6 weeks is a long time and I don't know about you but I find it incredibly different to find activities to fill the whole time!

"But Mummmm I'm bored" seems to be the favourite phrase in our house this summer.

Monday, 14 August 2017

Our Family Holiday at Butlins Minehead!

You may have noticed things have been a little quiet around here, well that's because we have spent the last week having lots of fun and making some precious family memories at the fabulous Butlin's in Minehead!

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Peppa Pig Family Home Playset **REVIEW**

Peppa pig is practically a celebrity in our house! Evelyn is a huge fan and so when we were recently offered the chance to review the Peppa Pig Family Playset from Character online I knew this would be something she would love.

Thursday, 10 August 2017

5 things I have learnt since becoming a mum.

Being a parent is one of the most magical experiences but its certainly no fairy-tale story either. I has this perfect image in my head when I was pregnant about how life would be and what kind of parent I would be once baby came along. Lets just say we left that fairy-tale at the hospital. My heart has never been so full of love and my home full of laughter until the kids came along but here are some of the things I have learnt since having children...

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Top summer parenting tips and hacks!

School’s out for Summer! With so many months of kiddie time in front of you, you’re going to need all the help you can get.
Luckily, Stephanie from Expert Home Tips is on hand to help. She’s sharing 10 of her most valued parenting tips to make this Summer as fun for you as it is the kids.

1. Remove sand with talcum powder

If you’re lucky enough to be heading to the beach this Summer, this tip will definitely come in handy.

Soft sand is lovely and comforting when you’re on the beach, but wet sand is a different story. Sand between toes, legs and under arms can cause irritation and discomfort, especially for children.

A great trick for dusting sand from the body is talcum powder. When you leave the beach, rub it over sandy areas and the sand will dry and fall from the skin.

2. Prevent lollipop drips with a cupcake holder

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Its Blackberry Season!

**This is a guest post from the lovely Marc and Laura from Living Unplugged. You can find out a little more about them and their blog at the bottom of this post! **

I’ve got a confession. I can’t resist free food. It’s a nightmare at work when there are leftover sandwiches from a meeting. Well, nightmare is probably a bit strong - but you know what I mean.

Sandwiches aside, this time of year is great for free food, and it’s great for getting the kids out and into nature.

I’m so proud of my both my boys (3 & 12 years old). Even though they complain when I drag them out the door on a Saturday morning, it’s not long before they’re running ahead in the woods and shouting out when they’ve found an interesting mushroom. I should say they’re under strict instructions not to pick it unless I’ve identified it!

Blackberries are even better, because my boys just need to understand the difference between ripe and unripe berries. Then it’s just matter of giving them plastic bowls and trying not to get stressed about the mess.
I have always had fond memories of blackberry picking. As with so many other people, it was my first experience of foraging wild food. For me, this passion for seasonal free food has gradually grown to the point where I now hunt mushrooms and pick nettles (and other foraged greens) to add to our late summer diet.

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Friday, 4 August 2017

Keeping cosy with Snuggle Sac **REVIEW**

It doesn't matter what the weather is like outside, sunshine, rain or even snow the kids love to snuggle up and watch a dvd. They drag their duvets and pillows onto the floor and tell us they are camping out.

So when the lovely people over at Snuggle Sac recently got in touch to ask if the kids wanted to try out a Snuggle Sac I knew it would be a big hit. I chose the Pony design for Evelyn as pony's and horses are something she really loves at the moment so I knew it would be a hit.

Friday, 28 July 2017

Tomy - Greedy Granny Game **REVIEW**

Whenever we have family time away from TV's and computer screens the kids always ask to play games! So its become a bit of a family games night on a weekend and the kids love it, especially when they beat mum and dad!

With this in mind we are always on the look out for new games we can all enjoy, so when we were given the opportunity to try out a new game to us Greedy Granny from Tomy we were excited to try it.

Sunday, 23 July 2017

BIC Kids colouring products **REVIEW**

James loves to draw and so when we were recently asked if he would like to try out some of the KIDS range from BIC I leaped at the chance.

I have always found the packaging for BIC products to be bright and eye catching and this range is no different. The fun packaging caught James eye as soon as it arrived and the colours inside are exactly the same. The pens, pencils and crayons all offer a rainbow of bright vibrant colours within each pack.

Sunday, 16 July 2017

WWT Slimbridge - Dusty's Wildlife Rangers Event.

This summer WWT are giving you and your children the chance to become Wildlife Rangers!

A full day of discovery and adventure awaits families with a wide variety of Wildlife Ranger activities being held at our nine UK WWT centres including, wetland survival skills, ranger training, wildlife recording, tracking, pond exploring, safaris and lots more.

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Tomy - Paw Patrol Aquadoodle **REVIEW**

Evelyn loves to draw, colour and doodle but still hasn't quite mastered the art of doing this without also colouring in herself and her clothing!

So when Tomy recently offered us the chance to try out a Tomy Aquadoodle I thought we might be on to a winner, even more so when it arrived and it was Paw Patrol themed... Evelyn's favourite.

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Puppy Surprise **REVIEW**

Like most kids her age Evelyn loves animals, the smaller and cuter the better but in reality she loves all animals. So when I recently received an email offering us the chance to review a Puppy Surprise toy I jumped at the chance.

I knew the puppy surprise would be something Evelyn would love caring for and might just be the solution to her constant asking for her own puppy (we can't have pets where we currently live).

I wasn't wrong! When the Puppy Surprise arrived the smile on her face was huge, she just wanted to get the puppy out of the box and hug it. She couldn't believe her luck when I told her there were actually baby puppies inside the mummy dogs tummy.

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Literary Inspired Baby Names.

** This is a guest post from the lovely Jane over at Is That You Darling, the link to her blog is at the end of this post so if you have enjoyed reading please do pop over and check out more posts on her blog**

I don’t have babies, and I don’t know if I ever will. But that doesn’t stop me playing the ‘What would I name my babies game?’ from time to time.

People have lots of different reasons for choosing the names that they do for their children; sometimes it’s a family tradition, sometimes it’s after a loved one that is no longer with them. And sometimes it’s just because they love a name.

I’m a big reader, and so when I’m thinking about names that I love, I often think back on the books I have read, and the characters I have loved. With that in mind, here’s a few names that I love that are inspired by literature.

Monday, 19 June 2017

Keeping kids cool in a heatwave

Since last week the temperatures have been rising with summer well and truly on its way! This weekend temperatures hit 30 degrees here in Bristol! It seems all across the country temperatures have been soaring and it can be unbearable when it gets too hot, especially for kids!

With that in mind I have joined up with some great bloggers to share some of our top tips for keeping kids cool in a heat wave -

Friday, 9 June 2017

Happy 3rd Birthday Evelyn!

Well this has come round quickly and hit me hard, how on earth can my baby girl be turning 3 today!?

I'm not going to say where has the time gone, I've felt every moment of it... heck we haven't even mastered bed time yet! But I have adored being able to spend every minute of my day with you Evelyn.

Seeing you smile for the first time, take your first steps and talk for the very first time. Now I'm about to watch you grow up (way to quickly for my liking) and head off to nursery, and I know your super excited because you want to be just like your brother. But I'm going to miss you just like I did James too.

I don't know whether its because you have your big brother to look up to but my gosh Evelyn you are determined. You know what you want, how your going to get and hell hath no fury on those who get in your way! Your head strong and beautiful and I love that you aren't afraid to show the world your bubbly diva like personality and always with a smile on your face.

Sunday, 4 June 2017

I don't need a break from my kids!

"You just need a break"

It seems to be one of those common phrases we all say whenever anyone has a problem, sleep deprived... you need a break. feeling down... you need a break. But that isn't always the right solution for us all, what if my kids are my break? My break from the stress of the world we live in, my break from the mundane routine and being a grown up.

For me, I don't need nor want a break from my kids!

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.

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.

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.

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 -

Child (3-15 years)£11.95
Toddler (2 years)

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?


**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.


**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.**