Monday, 29 September 2014

Christmas present buying for a Frozen fan? Disney Store online have just added lots of new items to the Frozen section.

I have recently started my Christmas shopping. Whether you just like to be organised or have so many people to buy for that you need to start sooner rather than later,, it needs to be done!

Today the Disney Store have added lots of fab new Frozen products to their stores. I had a look online and there is now 92 products in the Frozen section. From pyjamas to dolls, dressing up to stationary plus many, many more items there are some fab ideas for Frozen fans.


Elsa dressing up dress £30 and Elsa toddler soft doll £12


I placed a small order this morning of a few bits that caught my eye. My daughter is a huge Frozen fan and the 2 younger boys love some of the characters too. A couple of items that I liked had already sold out so I will keep an eye on the website for a restock. My local (ish) Disney Store was sadly closed down so now I don't have one near enough that I can pop into so I will be stalking the website between now and Christmas time.


Frozen lipgloss set £8 and Frozen glitter pen set £6


I particularly liked the lip gloss set and the glitter pens as stocking fillers for my daughter, both of which are currently out of stock. I did pick up the Elsa soft doll, an Olaf cup for Thing 5, a drinks bottle for my daughter and a puzzle. There are so many fab things on there I could have gone overboard on the present buying but am trying to pace myself on the whole Christmas shopping experience!


Olaf slippers £10 and deluxe puzzle £10


Gorgeous girls party dress, ideal for the festive party season, £25



So if you have Frozen fans in the house get onto the Disney Store website or get to your local store. They are also currently running the buy one get free promotion on DVD's and Frozen is included too.

Visit www.disneystore.com

REVIEW; Five Little Ghosts hardback book by Patricia Hegarty & Julia Woolf, from Little Tiger Press.

Follow the adventures of five little ghosts in this comical rhyming caper!




We were sent a wonderful book to review recently from Little Tiger Press introducing the little ones to Halloween as it fast approaches this year.

It is called Five Little Ghosts and is perfect for the upcoming Halloween/Autumn season although it will definitely remain a firm favourite on the book shelf all throughout the year as it has been warmly received buy my toddler. It is a decent sized padded hardback book with eleven double sides of chunky pages full of adorable pictures of the Five Little Ghosts as they go on their adventures. Ideal for children who are still getting to grips with books, my son still doesn't fully understand that we have to be careful with books, this will withstand being looked through over and over again by a heavy handed toddler!


Thing 5 reading through his new book, just a couple of the colourful pages.


Thing 5, aged 2, loves this book. He flicks through all of the pages looking for the spider that features on every page. We talk about where the spider is and what he is doing. As well as the ghosts there is the spider, a frog and a cat which follow through each page of the book.


Pointing out the spider that he likes to search for on each page. 


The story follows the ghosts as they decide on what to play with. Each has a short but catchy sentence that flows through all of the pages on a rhyming theme. Each page is full of colour and fun as the ghost do art, dressing up, play with musical instruments, have a bath and more...

This is a lovely, delightful and colourful book that has really appealed to my 2 year old son. He loves picking it up and looking through the pages over and over again.



Sitting down quietly and reading. 

Visit www.littletigerpress.com where you can view the full range range of books for children in a wide range of formats and genres. 





Sunday, 28 September 2014

My 2 year old is like a pinball whizzing around a pinball machine. Where do they get their energy from?! One worn out Mummy, one not so worn out toddler!

I was watching Thing 5 the other day and he wore me out just from watching him!


This is his 'cheese' face!


I allowed him to walk on the school run. That was my first mistake. He has been walking for a while now and loves to be let out of the pram but he isn't ready to be walking all of the time. He was everywhere! Walking on the neighbours front gardens, stopping to pick flowers, walking back the way we had come from, stopping, running, trying to go in the road, running after a dog he had seen in the woods, trying to stroke the cat that just walked past. The walk was painfully slow.


Already 'on the run' through the woods


Had it just been a general 'we were in no rush to be anywhere' kind of walk it would have been OK, I would have let him run free and explore the woods that we were walking through. This was the walk to school, we had somewhere to be and we had limited time. I was stressed out. Thing 5 was as happy as could be. I was tired out watching him go from one place, to another, to another. It was like there was so much to do and so little time to do it in.I'm all for little ones running free as and when they can. As you can see from the pictures he has a LittleLife backpack and reins set but I try to limit the use of them when I can. Only when we are walking along the paths near the road will I hold on to him.

It was like when you first flick that pinball in the machine and you watch it bounce wildly around inside hitting all of the different targets in the playing field, he was exactly like that.

 We had to be at the school for the Macmillan coffee afternoon so as I hurried him along with the promise of cake and I was glad when we arrived at the school. However, after buying tea and cake and trying to sit and eat the cake and drink the tea he was not up for sitting still. The chocolate cake didn't entice him enough to sit still for a few minutes and we made a hasty exit to the park next door to the school.



Enjoying more free time at the park.


He wanted to go in the swing, phew. Five minutes of sitting still whilst Mummy pushed him backwards and forwards. At least he was in one place for a few minutes. Then it was time to do the school run and he was off again. Two school pick ups and a walk home and I was glad to get through the front door. Slightly more stressed than I wanted to be. Thing 5 was not worn out at all.

So, lesson learnt! Don't let Thing 5 walk unless you are in no hurry to be anywhere. If allowed he would spend the day running freely through the woods picking flowers, chasing dogs and feeding the ducks. Those days are good. For now I will keep the pram and never go anywhere without it!

Silent Sunday; 28/09/2014







Friday, 26 September 2014

Sorry lovely people but I'm mentioning the C word! A Christmas home made craft perfect as gifts for the family. Salt dough Santa face hand print decorations.

Every year I make sure everyone knows about this lovely little Christmas craft idea early enough to get them done in time! They are so easy to do and very effective. I made my first ones 2 years ago when Thing 5 was just a few months old so some of ours are really small and cute. Ideal for baby, toddler and small children's hands. Ideal for the older children to paint themselves although I did get quite annoyed if they didn't do it quite right so I painted the ones we were giving as gifts.

You make up the salt dough and roll it out, not too thin. Press the child's hand into the salt dough and then carefully cut around the hand print shape. Don't forget to put a decent size hole in it for hanging once cooked and painted.





I cooked the salt dough as per the instructions above  and it cooked perfectly. Leave to cool and then paint as follows.


Nearly finished.

 I bought acrylic paints from a local stationers. White, red, black and pink. I painted the back of the hand prints first and allowed it to dry before turning it over and painting the front and around the sides. Leave the white to fully dry before painting on the other colours. I did the black lines with a very thin paint brush and black paint as I tried using a black pen but this ran and didn't look good. Once it is all fully dried I used a clear spray varnish to seal it all and give it a nice shine. Finally I found some lovely ribbon in the Christmas section in my local Sainsbury's that I used to hang them.




All finished and painted with the Christmas ribbon.


They make a fab gift for relatives and it means that each year it can come out as a decoration for the tree, I gave them all a Thing 5 sized one for the tree. I also found some cellophane bags with gold ribbon in my local pound shop which were ideal as gift bags and I think there were 20 in the pack.
So there you have it. An easy yet effective Christmas decoration that the relatives will love to receive when it is lovingly hand made and includes your child/s hand print.



Our Santa hand prints ready and in their gift bags.



#ToddlerApprovedTuesday

Thursday, 25 September 2014

The 25 stone Mum on benefits who wants to lose weight debate. She doesn't need more government help, she needs support and to be encouraged to go in the right direction which will give her a healthier lifestyle outcome.

I watched This Morning today to see the interview with the 25 stone lady who has been in the press a lot over the past few days after it was claimed she was asking for more handouts from the government so she can lose weight. I will be honest and say I didn't read all of the articles but saw plenty of them being shared on my FB newsfeed and a lot of people saying how it's disgusting that she should be asking for more when she already gets X amount in benefits anyway. I do agree.

However, from today's interview on This Morning I can conclude that things may have been reported wrongly by the press, or she said things that she didn't mean or were taken the wrong way. She doesn't want more money, she did say that she wanted an incentive to lose the weight but also said how difficult it was for her to even leave the house.

As well as being quite breathless and physically unfit due to her size it was also the issue of the looks, stares and taunts that she received on stepping out of the house that stopped her from doing so. She would get to the front door and then think No, I don't want to go out there and face the hate that people aim towards me because of my size. So she would stay indoors and comfort eat.

I can see how easy it can be to fall into this vicious cycle. The lady mentioned that from the age of 6 she was always on the larger size than others and it continued over the years. Also without any physical exercise combined with the comfort eating then nothing is going to change.

It's also easy to blame the pressures and stresses of every day life on the way we eat too. Living on a junk food diet she also claims that personal life and the daily dealings of issues with family members means that she is caring for them and so can't get a job to pay towards things, yet it's also claimed she spends £300 a month on junk food which could easily be used towards a healthier diet for herself.

Whilst I agree that she is visibly upset by her size and she also stated that she wanted to lose weight, she wanted to change and she wanted to do it herself. She didn't want surgery or a gastric band. She wanted to do the work for herself. She stated that gym membership was too much for her to pay out too, which is understandable but there is so much more she can do to lose the weight without needing a gym membership.

As Katy Hopkins said, and I was pleasantly surprised with her this morning!, just walking a few extra steps a day and seeing what you have achieved will really build your confidence and give you a boost. Healthy eating doesn't have to be expensive and it's all down to portion control eating the right foods and the willpower to stay away, or at least only have a little of the naughty foods. Sometimes we need to be shown what is right or wrong to eat, what is healthier and what isn't so healthy. If your diet hasn't been so good it's difficult to get into a whole new routine, choose better foods and also cooking new recipes is daunting too when you don't know where to start.

I do wish the lady all the best in her quest to lose the weight. It will be tough going, nothing is easy about losing weight. As well as healthy eating it takes determination and willpower. She needs to stop being so hard on herself and hold her head high when she goes out the front door. Don't let the haters get to you and go out for a walk or go for a swim (which she said she enjoyed doing). Buddy up with someone who can boost your confidence and also be there for you when you need them.

I also believe a slimming group could help. There are always vouchers in magazines for free or discounted joining fee's, the weekly meetings are great and really help with advice and support and there are a lot of people who have lost an incredible amount of weight just from attending these groups alone.

Check out Catherine Powell's amazing 10 stone weight loss here with just a Slimming World group and an exercise bike!; http://metro.co.uk/2014/09/16/no-gastric-band-or-a-fad-diet-i-lost-10st-on-a-20-exercise-bike-4871730/

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Our day on board the Huggies Pull Ups bus at Surrey Docks Farm. A gorgeous place to visit in the city and a fab day with the Huggies team.


The Huggies Pull Ups Bus

Last week we were invited to join the Huggies team at Surrey Docks Farm as part of the Pull Up Bus tour. It was ideal for us as Thing 5 has just turned 2 and soon we will be starting our potty training journey.


Thing 5 on our journey and enjoying his free Evian on the Underground!


Our journey to the farm went well and quicker than expected as it included train, underground and a bus journey we were thinking it might have been longer. When we arrived we were surprised to see the farm nestled in between houses and blocks of flats and set right on the River Thames. It was gorgeous, a little oasis and I will be honest when I say I had never heard of it before.


Huggies table display and scrummy cupcakes!


When we arrived we went into the farm and met the Huggies team and soon we were all taken down to board the Huggies Pull Ups bus. It was great fun. Thing 5 enjoyed playing in the water in the pretend play toilet area. There was also a bed area with TV and books and a small seated area at the back with graduation hats, for when you have been successful with potty training!






On board the Huggies Pull Ups bus. Water play, book reading and more.


We had great fun playing with the water and exploring the bus. We had a good talk about Pull Ups and how they work. With their wetness indicator on the outside, easy open sides, leak guards and easy up and down they ideal for the potty training stage. Pulling up and down like cotton pants and with colourful Disney characters on and the wetness indicator that fades when they are wet. Not as absorbant as a nappy so the child can feel that they are wet.

There are also Pull Ups Night-Time available for extra absorbancy in the night but with the same features as the normal Pull Ups too.

Pull Ups are available in sizes Small 8-15kg (20-33 lbs) , Medium 11-18 kg (32-40 lbs) and Large 16-23 kgs (38 lbs+).

The Disney characters featured are Cars, Minnie Mouse and Disney Princesses on both the Day and Night time Pull Ups.

If you have time to also check out Surrey Docks Farm then I would highly recommend it. On the day Huggies had arranged for one of the farm employees to take us around and meet all the animals, it was fab. Thing 5 really got stuck in and enjoyed stroking the animals and feeding them too. There are lots of farm animals to see and there is also a cafe there too. We had lunch and the food and drink was excellent. There is a donation asked of £3 (or more if you prefer) and it is well worth it for this little oasis that is nearer than we thought.




Fun at the Farm meeting the animals.


Thank you to Lucy and Stavros from the Huggies team who were very helpful and informative on the day, and great company too. 


Monday, 22 September 2014

Throwing away the baby cot. Thing 5, Blake, now you are 2. An update, new chapters, new things to discover. How time flies by! Oh and my new baby urge has gone, whooopppeeeeee!


Wearing his Thing 5 t shirt, just so we know who he is!


Thing 5 turned 2 in August and I can't believe how the time has flown by. From the moment I brought him home from the hospital I knew he would be my last but that usually always changes when my babies hit the age of 2. I always say no more and then I get so broody by the time my youngest is 2 years old that I want another baby. This time there is nothing, nada, zilch, much to the overwhelming delight from the OH!



When something is delivered we always play with the box or packaging, not what was inside!


I am so enjoying watching Thing 5 grow up and explore the world more. He's becoming a little more independent and each day discovers new things. New food that he likes, new activities to enjoy. I am looking forward to him growing more and going out to nursery next year. I won't need another baby to keep me busy I have a house that needs cleaning, tidying and still parts of the home improvements that need finishing. Along with keeping up with the blog and raising five children, I have plenty to keep me busy.



Thing 5 has recently become Mummy's little follower. I can't go anywhere in the house without him wanting to follow me, even if he's with Daddy. However this means if I'm tidying a room and have to take him with me he untidies as I tidy! He has developed a love for Hot Wheels cars so he is gathering quite a collection of those that he enjoys sitting and playing with. I think we are going to add a car road playmat to his Christmas list. He has also discovered the film The Polar Express. It's nice that he has found something that he likes to watch on the TV, and I do love it too, but sometimes there is a limit to how many times we can have it on the TV!!



Quieter times!




Playing with his Hot Wheels cars, accompanied by Thing 4 and Henry Hugglemonster!


We also moved Thing 5 into a bed back in August and since then the cot has remained stood dismantled in my bedroom. I walk past it every day and every day I think that the OH should really get it taken down to be thrown away. I have no urge to keep it, it's not needed. I am looking forward to buying cars and trains for Thing 5, taking him out without dragging a pram along with us. Not having to stop for feeds or nappy changes and exploring the world where he wants to learn and not run off in any direction he can because he's just not ready to at the moment.

Boots Parenting Club recently emailed me and the email subject was; Blake, now you are 25 months old. Thanks Boots, I was unsure of his age! These emails are helpful and informartive but I'm not going to be overly concerned if he doesn't reach milestones or developmental stages when others dictate that he should be reaching them. All of these things will happen in time. We won't enjoy the time we have together now that Thing 4 is at school full time if we spend our time worrying about reaching goals and 'should he be doing this by now' etc....


We will go with the flow and enjoy our time. Before we know it Thing 5 will be at nursery and we will be applying for Infant School too. For now we will spend our days trying to make the house look half decent whilst still spending Mummy and Toddler time doing the important things, like jumping in puddles!





REVIEW POST; Naanster curry filled Naan bread wraps, available in 3 flavours. An ideal food on the go adding a new flavour twist to quick and easy food.

NAANSTER CURRY FILLED NAAN BREAD SNACKS REVIEW


Naanster packaging


We were recently asked to try out some Naanster ready meal style snack foods and we were happy to oblige. My husband and my oldest child are always looking out for quick and easy hot snacks especially later at night when they had their tea a few hours previously but are feeling slightly peckish again. 


The folded Naanster out of the packaging.


Naansters are a folded naan bread filled with rice and either vegetable tikka, chicken tikka or chicken balti flavour. We were sent a selection of all three flavours to try and they did not disappoint.


The filling inside the chicken Balti flavour Naanster

They microwave in just 90 seconds from chilled (based on an 800w microwave) so are a perfect quick snack for life on the go, or if you are really hungry and need to curb a hunger pang. They are also ideal to take to work if you have the facilities to keep it chilled until lunch and then a microwave to heat.

They are all a gorgeous flavour with plenty of filling inside. All fillings are accompanied by pilau rice and mango chutney inside. On the packaging it states that the naan breads are baked fresh and all sauces are made by hand, the pilau is light and fluffy and all vegetables are locally sourced where possible. Using aromatic and exotic ingredients in the time honoured recipes and then lovingly made by hand. Wholesome ingredients cooked using traditional methods.



My husband found them great for a snack when he got in from work too if I wasn't cooking tea until later that evening. It hit the spot when he came in from work hungry and needed a quick and easy food to grab and heat straight away.

Cooking method for the Naanster is to pierce the plastic packaging to allow steam to escape. Place the Naanster in the microwave to cook for 1 min and 30 seconds on full power and allow to cool for one minute before picking up. Remove plastic packaging and use the carton to hold your Naanster and enjoy. Warning that the filling will be hot, so be careful!

Lots of lovely spices listed in the ingredients too which gives the Naanster a lovely taster, as well as smelling lovely when they are just cooked.

RRP for these are £1.99 each. I think my husband would definitely prefer to buy these over other microwave snacks and would very much recommend that you try them if you can.



Wednesday, 17 September 2014

NEW Stokke Style Kits in Grey Cube and Beige Cube plus the Cloud Grey Winter Kit for the Xplory and Crusi seat units.

It has been a while since Stokke had a patterned style kit. If my memory serves me correctly it would be the forest cream/forest olive sets that were designed way back for the Stokke Xplory V1/2.

Now they have released the new Cube Style Kits to fit the Xplory/Crusi seats. In Grey Cubes or Beige cubes you can mix and match the various pieces with your existing colourway. So you could have an all Grey Cubes seat kit or mix it with the navy fabrics. The same goes for the beige cubes with beige melange etc....


Beige Cubes style kit on the Xplory and Crusi



The Grey Cubes style kit, either all style kit or mix and match with an existing navy textile kit.

Cloud Grey Winter Kit

All are available now or available soon from Stokke retailers. Estimated prices that I have found are 99 euros for the style kits and the Winter Kit should retail around £255 but these prices are only guidelines.