Sunday, 30 August 2015

My Sunday Photo; 30/08/2015 The Shard, London

Dad of Five and I enjoyed a rare couple for days away in London to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary. We were lucky enough to go and enjoy the amazing views from The Shard and I took this quick snap as we left. Such a glorious day and lovely views. 

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Wow, where did those Summer Holidays go?! As we near our last full week of the holidays I take a look at Back to School offers for uniform and stationery.

I say it every year and every year it's the same. No we don't have an amazing amount planned over the holidays so they are really going to drag. Then with the blink of an eye we are on our last full week of holidays and Back to School is looming already.

With four children gearing up for Back to School including Preschool, Infants, Juniors and Seniors we have plenty of Back to School shopping that needs doing. The fab Tu at Sainsburys collection helps us kit out Thing 4 for Infant School. He needed new polo t-shirts and navy trousers and I always find Tu trousers to be a lovely fit and quality. Sainsburys currently have their Tu 25% off running which helps a lot with the school uniform buying. Thing 2 needs new polo t-shirts too but her school uniform has to be bought with the school logo on so we need to head to the local store that stocks those and make that purchase. Tu at Sainsburys is also available online now too.

Sainsburys also have 25% off all of their Back to School stationery too with brands such as Berol, Bic, Crayola as well as Sainsburys own there is plenty to choose from.

School shoe shopping was the next big headache for me. Hundreds of children needing new school shoes and only a certain amount of flustered shoe shop assistants to handle us all! We ventured out last week needing new school shoes for two children and I was prepped for the long wait ahead. However, we went to John Lewis where we waited only a matter of minutes to be served. The assistant took his time and brought out lots of styles of shoes to try on to make sure they fitted correctly. They had Startrite, Clarks, Kickers and Geox amongst their school shoe range and lots of choice. Thing 4 had no problems choosing a lovely pair of Startrite shoes that look very robust. With as velcro fastening as he hasn't mastered laces yet and the all important scuff protected toe area. Thing 2 got a fab pair from Clarks. Last year she chose a pair of Clarks brogue style lace ups with a very thin sole and they didn't last very long at all. This time she chose a chunky pair in almost a Dr Marten looking style that look like they might withstand the wear and tear of a few school days.

Startrite boys 'Hat Trick' shoes and Clarks girls 'Purley Go' shoes

Instore and online Matalan are currently running a 20% off promotion across all schoolwear too.

Marks and Spencer have £5 off when you spend £40 on kidswear.

Tesco are currently running their Clubcard boost so if you have Clubcard points they double up. Every £5 is worth £10 in the school shop.

With all supermarkets and stores offering home delivery on most school uniform too there is no need to drag the children around the shops if you don't need to.

So if you haven't already started buying all of your Back to School essentials you've only got just over a week to do it. With lots of fab offers running at the moment there is some savings to be had too. 

Saturday, 15 August 2015

It's a parents life! The thing's we can't do like bath alone, pee alone, eat alone, shop in peace and relax on a night out! Not much really!

It's a parents life!

1. Going to the toilet in peace. How can a man take a toilet break uninterrupted for half an hour yet I just have to walk in the bathroom and I'm followed by the Andrex kid. Guaranteed to run off with the bog roll just when you need it.

2. Bathing in peace. Yet again another task that the OH can usually do alone and in peace. I'm joined by a toddler visitor most times and usually an unexpected plus one that the toddler invited to the pool party floats past too, you know the one.

3. Sleeping through the night. I'm sure at age 21 yrs (plus a few) I should be sleeping through the night by now? All the books say I should be, my Mum says I should be? I think I need to go and see someone. Or just ignore the cry of the night toddler?!

4. The hot cup of tea. I swear I should just drink iced tea instead. I make a cuppa, go off to do something, forget where I've put it, sort out a tantrum and meh, it's cold. The OH has hot tea, biscuits the lot. Where's my biscuits?

5. The shopping trip without forgetting what you went for and sometimes forgetting one of the kids you went with! Oh the stress of shopping with kids. You have this crazy plan that this week it might actually work, they might actually behave like humans rather than running wild and scaring old ladies from under the clothes rails, and that's just the husband! You forget what you even went to the shops for, you run back to the car defeated and then realise you're a man down. Man down!!!!

6. Eating a whole plate full of food. I mean, come on. The toddler has exactly the same plate of food as you yet yours is so much more interesting and tastier. I eat one thing and the toddler hoovers up the rest like I've not fed him for a month. I should be stick thin by now using the Slimming Toddler diet. I now try and dine alone in the restaurant called the Understairs Cupboard, it's a quaint little place, no tables and you have to eat really fast before you see toddler fingers appear under the door hunting you down as it's next meal victim.

'Mwahahhaaa, I have all of your food'!

And finally 7. Leaving the house alone. Erm, what's that? It takes more planning to go on a night out than it did to plan my own wedding, and that was a killer. Then on your return, if you managed to get out, they are all still awake because they missed you. How sweet, I was relaxed all evening and now I have to do the same bedtime routine I do every flaming night just at stupid o'clock. Am I still relaxed? No! Missed you too kids. :-/


Tuesday, 11 August 2015

#DummyDebate. The Harper Beckham dummy debate. Why did it even turn into a debate though, next time keep your opinions to yourselves before becoming all judgmental and telling others how to parent.

Yes it's old (two day old) news. However, ITV'S This Morning felt the need to discuss it as a world changing issue on the programme today. Harper Beckham was pictured with a dummy/soother/pacifier and the world is in uproar.

This is what we think to your debate! (Harper Beckahm pictured!)

Why? Last time I looked nobody had 100% perfect parenting skills. Using a dummy isn't against the law. Just because some people prefer not to use them or have never used them doesn't mean it's wrong for others to do so.

Why did it even turn into a debate, a huge parenting tidal wave hit the Beckham's with the force of Katie Hopkins vicious tongue lashing out of her mouth and people couldn't help themselves. Whilst I am sure there are other pictures of Harper using a dummy there are more often than not pictures of HB without one and she is pictured whenever the media can get a picture. She doesn't walk around 24/7 with a dummy in her mouth yet as soon as a picture is seen with her using one there is a public outcry.

She may have only had it for a few minutes before the picture was taken and so what if she did. As pointed out it is a comfort to her. She may have been tired or upset and that is what she uses as comfort.

Thing 5 has a dummy for sleep time. The top 4 pictures are of him sleeping or just woken up. The bottom 2 pictures show he can do without it. There are also hundreds (or thousands) of pictures of him without it at all! 

I don't walk around passing judgement on other parents because they don't parent the same way I do. I may not parent the way they think is right either. We're all in this parenting game together. There's no need to take sides, cause debates and pass judgement. We should all be there for each for advice and support on the days that can get difficult, the sleepless nights, the teething, the days when they start school and we need a shoulder to cry on. That one day where our babies need us for comfort and support and then in turn we need that same comfort and support from others too.

So please everyone jump off your high horse, let people parent in the way they want to and don't judge others on your own parenting skills. Everyone parents in different ways and what is right for some parents may not be right for others but that doesn't mean it's a bad thing or something that needs to be debated or made an issue of.

David and Victoria have had to raise all four of their children in the media limelight and all celebrity parents are picked on at any given opportunity just to make a headline. Raising children is tough enough as it is without the media stalking you for pictures and hounding you for a headline. Then grabbing a picture and turning it into a huge parenting debate when there was no need whatsoever.

Parenting is tough enough without the constant criticism and opinions from others on what is right or wrong. There is no clear cut rule book that is handed to you just before you leave the hospital with your newborn baby. You get a Congratulations on your new baby and a Good Luck on your way out the maternity ward doors! 

Arriving September 2015. The Bugaboo Comfort Wheeled board. A stand on and now sit on buggy board for all Bugaboo pushchairs (not the Bugaboo Runner)

This September, Dutch mobility brand Bugaboo will introduce the new Bugaboo Comfort Wheeled Board featuring a detachable seat. By attaching the  Bugaboo Comfort Wheeled Board to their Bugaboo pushchair, parents can create a fun and comfortable ride for their extra child in just two clicks.

Thing 5 trying out the Bugaboo Comfort wheeled board attached to a Bugaboo Cameleon 3

What may seem as a relaxing walk to you, can be quite a marathon for a toddler. The Bugaboo Comfort Wheeled Board ensures a smooth ride for your child and allows parents to continue to move freely through their world. By clicking the wheeled board straight onto any Bugaboo pushchair, it becomes the perfect extension*.

The Bugaboo Comfort wheeled board on a Bugaboo Cameleon 3

Smart design can be found in the board’s flexible positioning, either to the left or right of the pushchair, creating extra walking space for parents. A detachable seat offers the extra flexibility, as your toddler has the option to stand or sit. Bugaboo’s signature suspension makes sure that the stroll will be bump-free, and when not in use, the wheeled board can easily be clicked up or even detached for easy access to the under-seat basket, adding to the extraordinary value.

The Bugaboo Comfort Wheeled Board is compatible with all Bugaboo pushchairs and available in selected stores worldwide and online from September 2015*.
For a retailer near you, please visit
Bugaboo Comfort Wheeled Board & Adapter: 
€119.95/ £99.95
Bugaboo Comfort Wheeled Board:
€ 105.00/ £90.00
Bugaboo Comfort Wheeled Board Adapter 
€14.95/ £9.95

*The Comfort Wheeled Board is not suitable for use with the Bugaboo Runner.

Friday, 7 August 2015

Fun Kids Live. The digital children's radio station. Tune in on DAB Digital music radio in London and the South East for fab, fun shows all day long.

Whenever we are in the car the children always request Fun Kids radio. When we first got our new car we hadn't heard of Fun Kids radio before but the radio had Fun Kids preset on it and it's remained a must listen to radio station whenever we are out and about.

Fun Kids is a mix of chart music, kids songs, TV show theme tunes and lots more aimed at the children. Tune in and you can also listen to a Horrid Henry story or a fab learning segment with Techno Mum. I love that it is such a mix of different types of music for the younger and older children as well as the learning segments added in too throughout the day. 

On weekdays from 7am you can listen to Breakfast with Sean, followed by Dan at 10am and Fun Kids Junior with Alex from 1pm. Alex says; 

Hello! It’s Alex here from Fun Kids Junior on Fun Kids!
Alex-HeadshotI’m here every weekday afternoon on Fun Kids with lots of songs, stories and silliness!
It’s loads of fun, with some of your favourite characters and stars popping in to say hello too!
We also have the Animal Hour every day from 2pm, which is a whole hour packed with just animal stuff – nothing else! So if you love your animals, make sure you tune in to find out even more about the cool things that they can do!
My show is just for little ones, so it’s perfect if your big brother or sister is at school!

From 4pm you have The Club with Bex, every weekday after school you can join in with all of the coolest tunes as well as plenty of chat, awesome features and stories. There is also fab competitions and prizes to be won. Also on a Friday from 6pm on The Club with Bex she plays your requests for the Friday Night Party. Requests can be made via the website

At 7pm it's the Pop 7 at 7 with Josh. The top 7 fabbest songs in the world (as voted for by Fun Kids listeners!). Again you have to get your requests in to get your favourite tune to the number 1 spot and you might even get a shout out on Fun Kids radio. 

The weekend schedule starts at 6.30am with Weekend Breakfast, at 8am it's Beanotown, at 10am it's the Bin Weevil show followed by Frankie at 11am. At 3pm it's the Club with Jamie taking you through to 9pm.

You can listen to Fun Kids on DAB digital radio as well as on mobile and tablet via a radio player App and on a Smart TV via a radio app. There is also a Fun Kids radio App on iTunes which you can download and play cool games, listen to music, enter competitions and check out the latest kids news. You can also listen live via the website.

The Fun Kids website is also jam packed full of loads of information. Schedules for Fun Kids radio, news, competitions, games, vidseos, events and even a fun, learning zone. This is also where you can put in your requests for a birthday shout out as well as other requests for the various shows throughout the day. 

Thing 3 recently had a fab birthday shout out from Bex on Fun Kids radio. She loved it and it really made her day so if you can get your requests in for your big day then do it via the website. 

I would highly recommend Fun Kids radio. There is such a mix for all ages across the various presenters throughout the day. The children love the varied music that is played as well as listening to the stories and learning segments that are on. 

Do you listen to Fun Kids radio? Tune in and let us know what you think? 

Thursday, 6 August 2015

REVIEW; Penwizard personalised books starring your child. Our review of the Snowman and the Snowdog book from Penwizard. Personalised with child's name and pictures too.

We recently received the most gorgeous book from the lovely people at Penwizard. We received the title 'The Snowman and the Snowdog. They make personalised books where your child plays the starring role. There are many titles to choose from but we were asked to review the lovely Snowman and the Snowdog book.

I am in denial that it is already August and Christmas is fast approaching I but also need to realise that as soon as the Summer Holidays are over we need to start thinking about Christmas gift buying. I am always on the look out for something different as a Christmas gift and this lovely Penwizard book fits the unique gift category perfectly. With 32 full colour pages.

My son loves both the films for The Snowman and The Snowman and the Snowdog so I knew he would love this book especially with the personalised touches too. Ordering was very easy. Just choose the softback or hardback version and click on Create. On the next page you get to choose who the star of the book is by adding their name, surname and a personal message too if you want to. Then you can choose what they look like. You can choose hair, skin and clothes colour and the option of glasses or not. Then you get the chance to preview your book before finalising your order.

It was so quick and easy to do and adding a personal message makes it a perfect Christmas gift. My son loved that it had his name on the front cover and then all the way through the book and that the little boy looked like him in the pictures. We have read through it many times already since it arrived and will continue to do so for many months and even years to come. It is a lovely story especially for over the Christmas period although we will still pick it up as a story at any time of the year I am sure!

From ordering to delivery was also very quick indeed. The book is of very good quality and very good print colours and detailing. I am sure as Christmas approaches delivery times may vary and there is a 3-6 working day delivery time quote which may vary during peak times. The cost for the paperback version is £17.99 and hardback is £24.99.

There are also many other great titles to choose from on the Penwizard website and these do make great gifts for any occasion. 

Disclaimer; We were sent this book for the purpose of our review and the opinions and views stated are our own. 

Saturday, 1 August 2015

As Thing 5's third birthday fast approaches I take a look at the fab range of Nick Junior Paw Patrol toys in the shops. Top of Thing 5's birthday and Christmas lists!

Nick Junior's Paw Patrol programme is a big hit in our house with both Thing 4 and Thing 5. We usually have Nick Junior on as they love Peppa Pig, Ben and Holly and Blaze and the Monster Machines but their best programme at the moment is Paw Patrol. 

Following Ryder and his Paw Patrol pups as they have a different rescue mission each episode. There are 6 main Paw Patrol pups including Marshall, Rocky, Zuma, Skye, Chase and Rubble, with the newest member Everest making an appearance every now and again. 

Paw Patrol toys have been hitting the shelves in stores over the past few months or so and they have been adding merchandise to the shelves ever since. As Thing 5's birthday approaches next week I jumped online to see what was available and the choice was immense! From the top end price range of the Paw Patroller (tipped to be a Christmas best seller so if you have a little one interested you may want to buy sooner rather than later!) priced at £59.99 right down to the Paw Patrol Racers at £4.99 each. 

The Paw Patroller vehicle priced at £59.99 (other toys sold separately). Tipped to be a Christmas best seller.

Other merchandise includes party supplies such as cups, plates, loot bags, table covers plus party bag favours and more. Then there is Paw Patrol bedding sets, light pals, chairs, cups, lunch boxes and more besides. Everything you could possibly need for a big Paw Patrol fan. 

Thing 5's birthday bundle includes a Rocky and Rubble soft toy, Ryders pup pad, Ryder, Rocky, Chase and Zuma rescue racers, a small Rocky pup buddy and a Paw Patrol magnetic scribbler. I am also looking at the Paw Patroller as his main Christmas present and will be buying that soon to stash away. 

Paw Patrol magnetic scribbler (£5 instead of £10 from The Entertainer) and Ryders Pup Pad, new out and currently £15

Rubble and Rocky soft toys priced at £10 each
Paw Patrol rescue racers at £4.99 each

A Rocky pup buddy, £4

Already on offer and at a fab price is the Paw Patrol scooter at The Entertainer and Smyths Toys priced at £12.50 instead of £25. 

Do you have Paw Patrol fans in your house? Are you getting ready for your little ones birthday or are you thinking about Christmas already?