Sunday, 24 April 2016

Photalife, My Sunday Photo 24/04/2016

My Sunday Photo 24/04/2016

Our local woodland walk with a lake, such a lovely place to live near by to. 


Saturday, 23 April 2016

Adventure awaits the UK’s Little Trikers! Get active this Summer with Little Tikes Little Trikers Challenge

Little Tikes launches their Little Trikers campaign
After what seems a long Winter, Summer is on its way, which means it’s time to get out and have fun in the great outdoors. Building on last year’s award-winning Little Trikers Challenge, Little Tikes is once again encouraging parents to enjoy adventures with their family by getting out and about with their Little Tikes’ Trike. Hoping to inspire you, they’re working with five families to show you how exciting adventures look like from your little ones’ perspective and offering you the chance to go on an adventure with your own Little Triker by winning one of 20 trikes!  Launching on 22nd April, you’ll be able to find out more and join in at
When families go shopping, out for a stroll or embark on day trips, little ones can sometimes be sat in their stroller for hours often leaving them bored or tired. Little Tikes want to make life out and about, from the age of 9-36 months, a little more fun by challenging parents to swap their strollers for a Little Tikes Trike this summer and create a nation of Little Trikers on mini adventures!
To launch the initiative, Little Tikes have challenged five families to undertake their very own stroller swap by using a Trike instead of their pushchair, and commissioned five videos of their little one’s adventures along the way!  Check these out at   
Now they’re ready to challenge the rest of the UK!  Across their social media channels the UK’s number one outdoor toy brand is offering everyone the chance to win one of 20 Trikes to go on their very own Little Trikers adventure! All you need to do to be in with the chance of winning is to share your family fun days with the Little Tikes Team by posting videos or photos to the Facebook page. The competition runs until Bank Holiday Monday 2nd May and the winners, chosen at random, will be announced on Tuesday 3rd  May.
Try A Trike…
The must-have Trike for you and your little’s adventures is the new 5-in-1 Deluxe Ride & Relax® Recliner Trike from Little Tikes. Growing with your child from 9 months to 3 years+, it helps them learn how to ride, steer and finally pedal. The ‘perfect fit’ technology design allows the trike to not only adjust to three different positions but to recline too, so after all that adventuring your tired Triker can take a comfy nap!
Little Tikes 5-in-1 Deluxe Ride n Relax Trike

This latest addition joins a fantastic range of award-winning Trikes from Little Tikes including the 4-in-1 Perfect Fit, the 4-in-1 Sports Edition, 4-in-1 Deluxe Edition and 4-in-1 Trike.  Each comes with a whole host of features such as detachable easy grip handle for parent control, 5-point seat belt harness and safety bar, padded, soft seating, removable shade canopy, durable quiet-ride tyres, convenient beverage holder, packing bag or storage bucket for additional trike storage. You can see the full range and individual Trike features at
Every Little Tikes Trike has four stages to ensure it grows with your child:
1.      The Guided Stage: 9+ months. 
Push your little one along with the footrest down and safety harness in place.
2.      The Learning Stage: 12+ months. 
You’re still in control as your 
child learns to pedal and understand speed control.
3.      The Developing Stage: 18+ months. 
The Trike is child-and-parent powered! Your youngster can pedal, while you stay in control.
4.      The Independent Stage: 30+ months. 
The guide handle is removed and your child gains confidence, coordination and skill under their own steam.
You can check out the brand new Trikes’ section of the Little Tikes website at, plus get some adventure inspiration through their Top Triker Trails here:
So what are you waiting for? Get your Little Triker on board and get triking! The adventure awaits!

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Using flat lay outfit photo's to help make better clothing choices for Thing 5. Some fashion finds for his current Summer wardrobe from Next, Burberry, Junior Gaultier and more

As I start using Instagram more and more I discover a whole range of photographs from other users and try and take inspiration from their pictures to make mine more appealing and better. I love looking at other peoples homes, days out, family pictures and clothes pictures, especially the childrenswear that is pictured from other Instagram users and companies.  

I'm not the best at taking pictures but am hoping to improve on that over time.

As well as taking lots of pictures whilst we are out and about as well as at home, I have started taking pictures of Thing 5's clothes and outfits and sharing them on social media. I recently bought some new clothes and matched them all up for pictures before hanging them in his wardrobe ready for use.

Although more often than not Thing 5 prefers to be naked, does anyone else child walk around completely starkers all day?! Today we were going out for lunch and he wanted to go out naked, luckily I managed to get him in some clothes.

His Summer wardrobe is looking a bit too healthy and as I buy new items from various different childrenswear stockists I have tried to match them up as much as I can. More often than not I will go into a shop and see loads of stuff I like and will come home and none of it actually matches or I buy loads of tops and one pair of bottoms!

So this season is all about matching. Not that Thing 5 cares but I thought I would try and get a wardrobe together that matched and has enough tops in ratio to bottoms because when he is dressed he doesn't like to keep clean for long. 

Doing flat lay pictures where you lay everything out in front of you has really helped me get co-ordinated. I have thought more about what top goes with which trousers and also means that I have a reminder of what to grab as an outfit or for inspiration. 

I do share these pictures with Instagram and they seem to be popular, if someone asks where a certain item is from I am happy to help. My outfit choices are far from perfect though, I'm no kiddy stylist!. Thing 5 would rather wear his Blaze and the monster machines jumper if he does have to get dressed and some days, out of all the clothes he has, I still spend ages deciding what he should wear rather than just a grab and go job.

I'm enjoying buying him some nice outfits before he starts school in September and he will be wearing a school uniform for 5 days of the week and the Summer season has also brought some great finds from different brands. Our main purchases are from Next this season then we have a few other brands mixed in including Mini Rodini, Levi's, Abercrombie and Fitch and more.

I try to shop the sales as much as possible especially when there is 5 children to dress, why do they grow?? I also like to find and try out new brands when I can and always shop with a discount code or two! 

What has caught your eye this Summer season? Do you prefer buying Summer clothes or wrapping up in Winter clothes?  Have you caught any bargains recently too, I always love a bargain! 

Friday, 15 April 2016

Are you waiting to hear about primary school places? Waiting to hear primary school placement news, letting our last baby go and watching them grow up way too fast.

Primary school place allocation day looms!

We are on the countdown to primary school placement day. It's always such an anxious time waiting to hear if your child got into your first choice school.

Up until this point we've always got our first place choice for all 4 children that have already started school, 3 of which have been at the school we've now chosen for Thing 5.

It's a lovely little local Infant School with just one class of each year group and we know all of the teachers, having been doing a school run to that school for the past 9 years!!

We find out about school places on April 18th so in just a few days it will be confirmed where Thing 5 will be starting school in September and my last baby will be going to school.

I have very mixed emotions about this. Usually by now I would have another baby to look after but this time I'm going to be alone. No children to look after during the day and it's a very strange feeling. I claim to be very excited about this prospect but there will be very mixed emotions about it all too.

Thing 4 ready for his first day back in 2014

I know I've done this 4 times before. All have been fine starting school and have enjoyed their school days so far. However, knowing this is the last time I'm going to be doing this is all a bit strange and the end of a chapter and the start of a new one. It means they are all growing up far too fast and I need to adjust to school life just as much as Thing 5 will need to. He will also be one of the youngest children in the class as he is an August born child the same as Thing 2 was. 

So in 3 days we will find out which school he will go to. Of course we are hoping that he gets his first place school and this has never been an issue with previous applications but what if he doesn't get our first choice. What happens then?

Thing 3 on her first day of school back in 2010

If he doesn't get a place at our first choice school they will look at the rest of our choices on the list from when we applied. Different criteria also falls into place when placing your child into the correct school. These include things like catchment area, siblings at the same school and many more things that they take into consideration. 

If you do miss out on your first place school you can get put on a waiting list for that school too. 

If you are waiting for news over the next few days I hope you get the school you would like. It's always an anxious time having to make these choices and seeing our babies grow up and become school children in the blink of an eye. 

I hope that Thing 5 will be as happy about starting school as the other 4 children were. They had a lovely time at the local Infant School and I can't wait to see him start school and grow and learn as much as the other children have done too.

Is your first child starting school this year? Have you been through this process but still just as anxious as before?

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Taking a look at ride on toys for toddlers. Bikes, scooters and ride on toys for indoor and outdoor play with Micro Scooters, Little Tikes, Radio Flyer, Veloretti, John Deere and more

Bikes, scooters and ride on toys for toddlers

Thing 5, aged three absolutely loves his Micro Scooter but I was looking for other ride on toys that could be used indoors and outdoors for him and other children his age.

Looking at ride on toys online I came across a huge range of bikes, trikes, scooters and ride on toys from various different brands.

I asked Thing 5 to help me choose the ones he liked the best to do a round up post and here's what we found.

Thing 5 already has a Micro Scooter and absolutely loves it. He rides it to preschool a lot and likes to take it to the park when we go. He is quite speedy too! Micro Scooter make scooters for all ages and for the toddlers there is the Mini Micro Scooter. Available in a huge range of colours and styles.

The Mini micro Scooter for ages 2-5 approx. Prices start at £59.95 for the original mini micro up to £79.95 for the create your own Mini Micro scooter with various accessories to add too. 

I have been looking at this balance bike from the Veloretti Kids range for Thing 5 for a couple of months now. I stumbled across the company whilst browsing on Instagram and have this next on my list to buy. I am keen to get him using a bike as soon as possible as Thing 4 hasn't really used a bike yet and I thought it was best to get him started sooner rather than later. I thought a balance bike was a good place to start and this one looks really sturdy and looks great too. The perfect first bike for children aged 2-4.

The Veloretti Mini in Minty Mint. Priced at €99 with €20 shipping to the UK. For approx. age 2-4 years  

I found this cute little ride on BMW baby Racer II M3 from various different stockists online. It's a fab colour and I thought it was ideal for indoor or outdoor use. It's not overly huge yet great for them to scoot along and pretend to drive around. 

BMW baby Racer II M3 ride on toy. Stated as ideal for age 1.5-3 years although having seen it I would say it would last slightly longer. Priced at around £76

The Boppi Ride on Wiggle car is absolutely fab fun. Jump aboard, put your feet on the front and wiggle the steering wheel to make yourself move. My children have all had a go on one of these and absolutely love it, they argue over it when they go and visit their cousin as he has one. Suitable for ages 2-5 years although does have a maximum weight limit of 75kgs. My 12 yr old does jump aboard and have a go and I am sure there is an adult or two that has tried it out too! 

Boppi ride on Wiggle car at the fabulous price of just £24.75, available in seven different colours for ages 2-5 years from Bopster

Little Tikes have been making the cosy coupe since 1979 and they are still going strong. From the original red and yellow cosy coupe that we all know and love you can now also get a princess cosy coupe as well as a police car, yellow taxi, fire coupe, grand coupe and so much more including the very cute Dino Coupe pictured below. I love this, it looks so fun and slightly different from the usual red/yellow variation but all cosy coupes are just as fun as the others.

Little Tikes Dino Coupe, priced at £59.99 for ages 18 months to 5 years.

Radio Flyer make fab little ride on toys as well as there fab radio flyer wagons. I found this cute little tricycle on the Argos website. It looks fab with it's streamers on the handles and a little bell too. Three sturdy wheels for a toddler who is just learning to ride and you can also take a little friend for a ride by standing on the back.

Radio Flyer tricycle, suitable for ages 3 and over, priced at around £120

This John Deere Rolly tractor is one of Thing 5's favourite things that he found whilst we were looking for ride on toys. He would love to ride around in the garden on this and the trailer would be great for all of the sticks, leaves and stones that he loves to collect along the way. It looks very sturdy and ideal for out in the garden over the Summer and into the Winter, I could get him collecting the autumn leaves in his trailer for me! 

John Deere Rolly tractor with trailer. For ages 2.5 yrs upwards. £69.30 from the John Deere online shop. 

This is just a few of the many ride on toys that we found for the younger children. Thing 5 chose the best ones to show here in this post but there is so many more ride on toys to be discovered online and in stores. 

Which ride on toy would your child choose? 

Our review of Trolleybags shopping bags, making food shopping a doddle. Packing your shopping made easy, less stressful and no more 5p carrier bag charges.

Trolley bags review

We were recently sent a set of Trolley bags to try out and review. I was quite excited by these, I am the main food shopper in our house so it always falls on my shoulders to drag the trolley around the supermarket and get the shopping done. 

I do admit to doing online shopping too, sometimes it's easier to get someone to do it for you but you still have all of the unpacking to do once it arrives and I do like to go to the supermarket and see everything that is on offer, search out bargains etc....

I headed off to my local supermarket armed with my Trolley bags and a toddler! 

Trolley bags come in a set of four reusable bags in varying sizes but all designed and tested to carry up to 15kg. They all have carry handles and rails that sit along the top of the trolley letting the bags hang nicely and fit snugly into the trolley to pack your shopping. 

Trolley bags fit neatly into your trolley ready for packing either whilst you 'Scan and Go' or once you are at the checkout.

Whilst not in use they all velcro together and then roll into a nice handy carry size which I then hung on the back of the trolley. If using the 'Scan and Go' shop you can place them directly into your trolley and fill up as you go. 

Positioned and ready for action. Easier without a toddler in the seat, he was evicted at checkout!

Once I had finished my shop, always more than I initially went for, it was time to head to the checkout. Once I had emptied my shopping at the checkout I went to the other end and opened my Trolley bags in the trolley in one easy motion. 

Always try and fill the bigger bag with the lighter, bulkier items and place heavier items in the smaller bags. 

I did find on another occasion that when I was still unpacking my trolley the cashier was keen to get scanning but this wouldn't have worked as I needed to get the Trolley bags into my trolley and ready to pack so I made her hold off just for a minute. 

Packing was so easy, everything got put into a certain bag depending on what it was weight or size wise. I managed to fit £150 worth of shopping into the four bags and getting them packed in the car was so easy. 

Usually if I have done that amount of shopping there is easily 15 carrier bags of shopping if not more.  you find that you can never fit it al back in your trolley once it's paid for and then you have to load 15 bags into your car and then out again when you get home. 

Not with Trolley bags! They were so easy to use, and having only four bags to move from trolley to car and into the house was great. 

I had quite a few people looking at the Trolley bags whilst I was at the checkout, I have only ever seen one other person using them in my local supermarket and so people were interested to see them in action and once they were positioned in the trolley it was so easy snd quick to get the packing done without getting annoyed by endless carrier bags. 

My full loaded trolley complete with full weeks shopping inside.

They velcro together in the trolley but are easy to pull apart to life out of the trolley once packed and then once they are all unpacked at home you just roll them up together to await their next shopping adventure. 

Trolley bags come in two different sizes the Trolley bag Original and the Trolley bag Express for the shallower shopping trolleys. They are also available on the pastel colours which is they grey, green, blue and yellow set or the Vibe colours which are the brighter blue, red, green and orange set. Priced at £17.99 I think they are worth it. 

I was constantly going out shopping and forgetting my carrier bags and would end up buying more but now I just grab my Trolley bags and away we go. 

Disclaimer; We were sent a set of Trolley bags for the purpose of our review. all thoughts and comments expressed are our own. 

Friday, 8 April 2016

Looking at children's sun creams and what's on the market from lots of brands. Nivea, Childs Farm, Boots Soltan and more. Hoping that Summer time will soon be here and warm holidays are due.

Children's sun creams from Boots Soltan, Nivea, Childs Farm and many more brands.

I have my fingers crossed that the warmer sunnier weather is just around the corner for us all and that lots of people have their Summer holidays booked whether they be at home or abroad.

I thought I would take a look at what brands of sun cream are on offer for children from different companies on the market. There are so many brands to choose from as well as lotions, sticks, sprays as well as the different sun factor protection. 

It's good to make putting suncream on part of the children's morning routine over the warmer summer months and see if they can do it themselves too. School policy tends to be that they need suncream in school but to be able to apply it themselves so some practise at home is always good. 

I thought for school sun cream application the Soltan Hypoallergenic Sun Protection Stick from Boots with an SPF50 was great. They can rub it directly onto their skin with no mess from a cream application process. It's a small 25g size so ideal for school bags, change bags etc... and has enough for approx. 20 applications.

Soltan kids Hypoallergenic Sun Protection Stick priced at £3

I also think the spray on sun tan lotions are a great idea, with offerings from Boots Soltan range as well as Banana Boat, Ladival, Garnier Ambre Solaire, Eucerin, Bioderma and Nivea. All with an SPF of either SPF30, SPF50 or SPF50+ you spray directly on to the body and then rub in. 

Nivea do a coloured spray so you can see exactly where you have applied the suncream which is a fab idea. It's so easy to think you've covered them in lotion but sometimes it's not always easy to see. 

Boots Soltan also do a Once 8 hour Play lotion. Ideal for maybe applying before school so the children don't have to worry about doing it themselves but also great for holidays if you just want to do the job once and not to have to worry about it during the day. It's always ideal to keep a smaller tub in your bag just in case though! PLEASE NOTE; This product is only water resistant for one hour so if you do go in the water it does need to be reapplied. 

The Soltan Once 8 hour play lotion comes in a 200ml spray bottle and a handy 50ml lotion. Priced at £9 for 200ml and £4.50 for the 50ml.

Ladival SPF50 spray also suitable for children with eczema £20 for 200ml, Garnier Ambre Solaire SPF50+ 200ml £7.50

Banana Boat SPF50 Ultramist lotion 175ml £8, Nivea sun kids coloured sun spray 200ml £8 and Bioderma SPF50+ 200ml £17

Childs Farm SPF50+ sun cream, suitable or sensitive and eczema prone skin. 100ml is £10.99.

Some sun creams and sprays featured do come in either an SPF30, SPF 50 or SPF 50+ depending on what strength you want, I always stick to the SPF50 for mine but everyone differs in their needs. Please also remember to reapply regularly according to the different brand instructions and also note that the longer 8 hour protect suncreams don't usually cover that length of time if you've been in water. 

We have tried the Nivea Kids colour spray, the Banana Boat ultramist and the Ambre Solaire spray over previous hot Summertime and I am always keen to try new brands to see how they fare. 

I hope this information on sun cream brands is helpful in the coming months when it is time to stock up on this Summer essential. Do also keep an eye on offers too, Boots at the moment are offering buy one get the second half price on selected sun care. 

Different products come with different instructions but some that seem to be repeated often along with other precautions to take are; 

• Bathing or showering will remove the product
• Keep babies and young children out of direct sunlight
• Avoid the midday sun (between 11am and 3pm)
• Seek shade and cover up
• Over exposure to the sun is a serious health threat
• Avoid contact with fabrics
• Avoid contact with eyes
• If product gets into the eyes, rinse well with water immediately

Always read the instructions and labels fully on each different branded bottle as they do differ. 

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Confessions of a shoeaholic, however now I buy mini shoes instead of Mummy shoes! New season picks from Startrite, Lacoste, Gucci and more

My name is Mum of Five and I am a shoeaholic! I always have been, when I was younger I remember playing shoe shops with my sister and cousins. Lining everyone's shoes up and buying and selling shoes. Also clomping around in my Mum's high heels was great fun too, they made a fab sound on the tiled floors!

As I got older I would love the shoe shops, especially at sale times. You can get more for your money then! I am a savvy shoeaholic at least! Back in the day it was Curtess and Stead and Simpson shoe shops in our town. At the time of Senior school the 'in thing' we all wanted was a pair of platforms. I bought self a pair with my pay from my Saturday job. I did already have school shoes, boots, trainers etc... but that wasn't enough. 

Trainers have always been my biggest thing. I'm always checking out online stores for the newest products in stock and seeing what's coming in stores soon. I'm a comfy shoe kinda girl as I do lots of walking, plus I don't have many times nowadays that need a pair of killer heels, lol!

Once the children came along I bought for them instead, they always had an impressive shoe collection especially when they were younger. Toddler sized shoes are just too cute to resist. So it's Thing 5's turn to get shoes, shoes and more shoes. Not that he cares, until the delivery guy knocks at the door. It's not that I don't buy the others shoes, they don't walk around barefoot! However, they spend all week in school shoes and then they have a pair or two of trainers or smart shoes.

Our most recent purchase was from Kickers as they had big reductions in their sale section. Thing 4 and 5 both got a pair of the Kickers Star Wars boots and Thing 5 also got some smart shoes.

Just a very few pairs of shoes in Thing 5's current collection (along with outfit choices!) 

However, these new shoes join an already impressive collection. From trainers to smart boots, flip flops to casual shoes. Thing 5's collection is growing and I still browse the Internet, purely for research purposes!

I always shop the sales or if buying full price (very rarely) I will buy with a discount code.

Checking out the new Spring Summer collections recently I have seen a few pairs that's have caught my eye from Startrite, Lacoste, Gucci, Fendi & more, my fault for following companies on Instagram and finding too many nice pictures of shoes.


Startrite Colorado desert boots in bright teal 

Gucci logo and lightning print hi tops

Lacoste boat shoes and canvas crocodile print shoes

Various Spring Summer 2016 collection offerings from Fendi, Armani, Dolce and Gabbana and Burberry

Yes they outgrow them, I do sell on outgrown shoes to fund more purchases. This helps considerably and it's great to make money on outgrown shoes and clothes to fund the next sizes up as they grow, which they seem to do an awful lot!

Shoe buying and  browsing new shoe collections online is my weakness, the same as others enjoy buying wardrobes full of clothes or buying nice cars or going on lots of holidays. We all have our little indulgences that make us happy and this is mine.