Saturday, 30 March 2013

What We Did Last Week #WeekThirteen

Last Sunday, I spent the morning doing my ironing and catching up on Masterchef. The kids played and packed bags for their adventures. Where they were going, I have no idea but it kept them amused. In the afternoon, we took a drive down to B&Q to get some paint for our living room and bathrooms. Husband has the task of decorating whilst we are away visiting Bella and Pops.

On Monday, it was back to school for Wee Z. I read twitter with envy at those of you who were lying in as school had already broken up for Easter holidays where you were. Miss C and I went to the library in the afternoon to return our books and get some new ones. We then walked back towards school via the park and Miss C fed the ducks. It was so cold though, we ran to school and then ran home.

On Tuesday, I woke up feeling a bit under the weather. I could have just turned over and gone straight back to sleep. Instead I got up and took Wee Z to school. Miss C and I spent the morning playing her LeapPad2 and eating croissants. After lunch we went for a walk to try and clear my head and make me feel better but I think the cold air made me worse and I ended up feeling really unwell. It was an early night for me that night.

On Wednesday, I was feeling much better. It was a really odd day though weather-wise. It snowed then the sun was splitting the skies and it continued that way for the rest of the day. After school, I had parents evening. Wee Z is doing really well and got a glowing report. I was surprised to hear that he loves P.E when he usually hates any sort of physical activity at home.

On Thursday, Miss C and I went to get our nails done after nursery. We stopped off at Greggs to get some lunch and then we went to the nail shop and had our nails done. I also had my eyebrows waxed as they were looking a bit bushy! Miss C chose some sparkly nail polish whilst I had gelish done and chose a glittery red colour. School finished early for half term to start so we picked Wee Z up and enjoyed an afternoon colouring in.

On Friday, we went to the park with my friend and her baby. We had a big walk (well a big walk for the kids) and then played in the park. Husband got his new bike and Wee Z had a sit on it. I think he was quite impressed. In the evening we lay in my bed and watched cartoons.

Today we're off to Bella and Pops' house for the weekend. Husband is staying at home to do some decorating so I'm a bit nervous about driving myself with the kids but I'm sure we'll be fine. The kids are so excited to see Bella, Pops, Aunty P and Miss Baby K, who isn't really a baby anymore, she's almost 2.

Have a lovely Easter weekend all!

Feeding the Ducks #CountryKids

Here you go duckies
Have some bread
Watch out! Incoming!
Mind your head

Eat up duckies
Enjoy your lunch
Here comes the swan
Looking for a munch

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

#SatCap and #SocialPix

Friday, 29 March 2013

Flashback Friday - Easter Time Fun

For Flashback Friday this week, I'm taking a break from my Motherhood story and instead sharing some pictures from Wee Z's first Easter egg rolling experience.

It was Easter weekend in 2009. We had taken a trip to visit Bella and Pops as Easter usually falls around about the same time as Bella's birthday. Wee Z, aged 1 and 3/4 had never really had an Easter egg rolling session. He didn't have chocolate until after his first birthday so this was his first Easter with a chocolate egg.

We took a walk down to the fields where there are some huge hills. Perfect for Easter egg rolling. I was about 34 weeks pregnant with Miss C at this point and, as I crouched down to help Wee Z, I had visions of me following the Easter egg right down the hill. What a picture that would have made.

The egg was launched down the hill but it still took a few rolls for it to break. Wee Z thought this was great though and he loved running down the hill to reclaim his egg and bring it back to the top of the hill again.

Eventually it did crack and we all got some chocolate.

Wee Z had an EGGcellent (sorry!) time and enjoyed eating his chocolate afterwards.

Have a Happy Easter!!

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Walks #TheGallery

I love going for walks.

I'm definitely a fair-weather walker. I do not like to walk in the rain. Even with my Hunter wellies, I do not like the wet weather.

The kids enjoy the fresh air but they don't really like to walk much. Well, they complain about walking but as soon as we are out and about, they are fine. Especially if it is the park we're walking to.

The park near us offers some of the best walks. There are lots of different routes to get into the park and then, once in the park, there are plenty of trails to walk along and go exploring.

I always feel better after a walk, even if it is just the walk to school and back. A walk in the fresh air can really wake you up and put a spring in your step.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Animal Safari from Orchard Toys - Giveaway

Following on from our review of Animal Safari, I'm excited to tell you all that I have one Animal Safari game to giveaway to one lucky reader.

Simply fill in the Rafflecopter form below to enter. There is only one mandatory entry but there are additional extra entries should you wish to complete them. You can tweet everyday for extra entries too.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

This giveaway is open to UK residents only. The giveaway will end on Wednesday 3rd April 2013 at midnight. The winner will be drawn at random from all the valid entries received on Rafflecopter. Entries will be checked. The winner will be contacted within 48 hours of the giveaway ending. The prize is Animal Safari from Orchard Toys which is a prize value of £11.75. No cash alternative. By entering you agree to have your details passed to Orchard Toys for them to arrange for your prize to be sent to you. Your details will not be used for anything else and will be deleted once the giveaway and draw ends.

Monday, 25 March 2013

Animal Safari from Orchard Toys - Review

Last week we received Animal Safari from Orchard Toys to review. I love how the kids know we've got an Orchard Toys package just by looking at the sticky tape with their logo printed on it. They get super excited and can't wait to see what new game or puzzle is inside.

It's about the only time that they don't want to play with the cardboard box or bubble wrap instead of the toy inside either.

We made a video review of Animal Safari. This way you can see how the game works and how much fun the kids had playing it. The video was filmed on the Panasonic HC-V520 camera that I reviewed for Play Fest recently.

So to recap:
  • Suitable for ages 5 and over, however Miss C, at almost 4, had no trouble playing
  • For 2-4 players
  • Requires players to think strategically and tactically in order to get the most animals but is still really easy to play so younger siblings can join in
  • Encourages turn-taking
  • Encourages counting skills and addition skills
  • Offers another way to play for older children so the game will grow with your child
  • Bright and colourful like all Orchard Toys products
  • Offers talking points such as what are the animals doing and how many animals have you got?

The kids absolutely loved Animal Safari. The evidence to back that up? We have played it every day since it arrived on Thursday afternoon.

Animal Safari is available to buy on the Orchard Toys website for £11.75. It is one of their more expensive games but I have always found the games I have bought independently from Orchard Toys to be more than worth the money you pay.

We give this a big thumbs up and a huge 10/10.

We received Animal Safari for the purposes of a review. The opinions expressed are my own.

Funny Things My Kids Say #21

Husband and I can be quite immature sometimes. We find words like Uranus funny especially if Wee Z is giving us a space talk. There are lots of words out there that kids are totally oblivious to and yet we find the innuendo as soon as they come out of their mouths. We have to entertain ourselves somehow, don't we?

Last weekend, as I was washing the dishes and the kids and Husband were sitting at the table, Miss C started to say a word. This word means nothing to her; it is just a noise or silly word to her. To us, the adults, in Scotland, this word is another word for a penis...

"Boaby, boaby!" 

"What did you just say?" asks Husband, trying not to laugh.

"She said boaby Dad. What's a boaby C? Is it something naughty Dad?" asked Wee Z.

Husband and I are giggling quietly.

"Can I eat a boaby?" asked Miss C.

Husband and I start laughing quite a bit more and it becomes worse since we are trying to keep it quiet.

"No C! Boaby is not something you can eat. Boaby is how the Irish say booby or Bobby" explains Wee Z.

"Boobies!!!" shouts Miss C.

Husband and I are gone. We're doubled over on the ground laughing. We tried hard to be mature but we failed.

But at least Wee Z came up with a fairly sensible answer to what a boaby is.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

What We Did Last Week #WeekTwelve

Last Sunday, I woke up with a sore head. Wine will do that to a girl. I got up with the kids and had breakfast and some headache tablets. The kids played whilst I did the ironing. My friend came over with her baby and they stayed for lunch. In the afternoon, Husband took the kids swimming which gave me the chance to catch up on my book.

On Monday, we took Wee Z to school and ran home because it was so cold. Snow was definitely in the air. We spent the morning playing jigsaws and then spent the afternoon playing with dolls. The rain was holding off for the school run so we managed to get out for some fresh air when we went to pick Wee Z up.

On Tuesday, we played indoors most of the day because it was so cold outside. And wet too. Miss C had fun playing with her Barbie, her paddling pool and her dogs. She also enjoyed her dressing up clothes and decided she was going to wear her Princess crown all day.

On Wednesday, Miss C and I went to the shops. Miss C rode her bike and then I ended up having to push her as we were running late for picking Wee Z up from school. Who needs the gym when you can push a small child on a bike up a steep hill?

On Thursday, Miss C and I had our hair done after nursery. Miss C just had a trim whilst I had a full head of blonde highlights done and lots of layers cut in. I wanted to feel a bit more summery! In the afternoon, we went to see Wee Z at school for a "Share the Learning" afternoon. It was great fun as we got to play games and see some of the things the children had been up to.

On Friday, it was freezing cold outside. We didn't have any snow but the winds were strong and arctic cold. Miss C and I went to Tesco after nursery to get some birthday presents. In the afternoon, we played Animal Safari from Orchard Toys and then picked Wee Z up from school. Husband took Miss C to ballet and then took Wee Z to his Friday club, so I was straight in my jammies and dressing gown as soon as I knew I didn't have to go back outside.

On Saturday, I walked to work and then walked from work into town. Husband brought the kids into town on the bus and we went to see the owls that were on display inside the shopping centre. Miss C loves the owls but her favourite owl wasn't there. Instead, the owl's sister was there so Miss C had a hold of her. She loves the owls so I'm really excited to see her face when she finds out we've booked them to come to her birthday party. In the afternoon, we had a nap in my bed and then played Animal Safari again. The kids love it!


Friday, 22 March 2013

Miss C's Butterfly Picks For Spring From Next

Miss C is fast becoming a bit of a fashion follower and trend-setter. Her winter hat from Next she is constantly sporting has been described as "epic" and one of the "coolest hats ever!" I've had parents stop me at the park to ask where her hat is from. Sadly, it is from the Next A/W11 season so you can't buy it anymore.

As much as I love the A/W ranges from Next, my favourite clothes are their S/S clothes and S/S13 is proving to be a big hit in our household. I regularly check their website to see if it has been updated with anything new and one night last week, it had. I should have switched the computer off but it was too late. I had been sucked in.

I ordered some of the Paradise Lost range as I love butterflies and so does Miss C. This is a girl who is very particular about what she wears so even if I like it, she won't wear it if she doesn't like it. I guess that stands her in good steed for when she is older and has to get dressed in a hurry. Indecisiveness is not a good thing when it comes to dressing.

Here are some of our favourite butterfly looks from the S/S13 range from Next.

Butterflies and Pretty from Next

I've already bought the tunic and trouser set and the beautiful butterfly jeans. We also have the pretty, sparkly flower pumps (cause butterflies love flowers). Miss C is a keen shorts-wearer and they look so cool with tights and hi tops or winter boots. Lastly, a summery, frilly hat that will surely be as "epic" as her winter one.

Now if only the weather would do a turn for the better...

Flashback Friday - One Week Old

For Flashback Friday this week I'm continuing my story into first-time Motherhood with Wee Z. Last week, I gave up on breastfeeding and we started bottle feeding.

It was hard to believe that Wee Z was almost a week old by the time we sorted out how we were feeding him. He had lost weight, almost enough to send him back to hospital, but the midwife could see he was now getting a good feed with his bottles. I didn't exactly feel great about it and I made it a rule that only I was allowed to feed him with Husband taking on a feed every now and again. It may seem a strange thing to do but I think it helped me cope with not being able to breastfeed him.

Sleep was something we were missing. Husband had taken two weeks paternity leave so we took it in turns to deal with Wee Z during the day and night. I did most of the bottles and Husband did most of the nappy changes.

We had friends and family in to visit but they didn't stay for too long. I think they could see we were shattered.

We took Wee Z for his first outing in his pram. It was a lovely, hot June day. I was clueless about how many layers Wee Z should have on for this sort of outing but it was so warm, I felt he was OK in his vest and trouser set.

Although he was only a week old, it really did feel as if he'd always been with us. I was just hoping I'd start figuring out what I was supposed to be doing with my newborn.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Cupcakes: Too Good to Eat; Literally

So I've started my Christmas shopping already. I know it is far too early but sometimes an opportunity presents itself and you just have to go with it.

The Pink Fairycake is one of my favourite pages on Facebook. I like the page so much, I have my notifications switched on for it. I simply must not miss a post. Karine, who runs The Pink Fairycake, is super talented. Not only does she make the most beautiful clothes and crochet animals, she makes the most amazing candles I have ever seen.

They. Are. Good. Enough. To. Eat.

Just look at these beauties!

I ordered a few from her in February when she announced she had the wax to make them. Not surprisingly, there were loads of people asking for candles. I ordered one box of cupcakes which cost me £18.00 and then 2 small jar candles which cost about £5.50 each. With delivery, my order came to just under £40. A bargain I thought for such beautiful candles. And not only do they look amazing, they smell amazing aswell. I bought my Mum a Baileys Kiln Jar candle for her birthday last year and it really did smell like Baileys. A year on, my Mum has never lit the candle and it still smells and looks as good.

Luckily for me, one person didn't pay for their order so I took another box of cupcakes. I'm now all stocked up for Christmas presents and teacher gifts for the end of the year. This is how you can end up buying Christmas presents in March.

Fun Picture Books - Review

We received two titles from Maverick Arts Publishing recently; The Cautionary Tale of The Childe of Hale and Tabitha Posy Was Ever So Nosy. We were introduced to Maverick Arts Publishing books when we reviewed The Fearsome Beastie, The Jelly That Wouldn't Wobble and Tamara Small and The Monsters' Ball. They publish really fun picture books which are some of our favourite kinds of books.

The Childe of Hale by Rachel Lyon is based upon a giant man that lived in Hale, near Liverpool in 1578. The Childe of Hale lives in a quiet village in a house that is too small for him so he doesn't sleep very well. One day the King invites him to the palace in London. They build him a special bed in a special room that means The Childe can finally sleep comfortably. The King has an ulterior motive and uses The Childe as a wrestler to win silver and gold.

We love books that are written in rhyme because I can use my sing-song voice to read them. This is a great story and shows how some people can take advantage of those who may look or act differently and that kindness can be far richer than money can make you. The pictures, illustrated by Vanina Starkoff, are really beautiful.

Tabitha Posy Was Ever So Nosy by Julie Fulton is the second book in the Ever So series. This is the story of a little girl who reminded me of Miss C because Tabitha is always asking why? and what for? Miss C is going through this very stage right now. Curiosity killed the cat as they say, and one day on a school trip to the zoo, Tabitha gets herself into a very sticky situation.

This is another book that is written in rhyme and it made us laugh a lot. The pictures, illustrated by Jona Jung, are bright and fun to look at. I'd definitely look out for more of the Ever So series.

Both of these books are perfect picture books for young children to enjoy with you as they aren't too long and the fun pictures keep them engaged. They would also be enjoyed by those children who have learnt to read and want to read a book themselves.

We received these two books for the purposes of a review. The opinions expressed are my own.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Ben 10 Omni-Kit Feedback - Review

Wee Z was recently sent a Ben 10 Omni-Kit Feedback to review from Bandai. He loves Ben 10 and he also loves following instructions to put toys or models together.

Omni-Kit Feedback is suitable for ages 4 and over. Inside the box there are 25 pieces, stickers and instructions to help you put together your own Ben 10 Alien. We received the alien Feedback from the Ben 10 Omniverse series.

Wee Z sat to build Feedback on a rainy Saturday afternoon. He had 30 minutes to do it in as we were heading out to town. Husband joined him although Wee Z was happy enough building Feedback himself. I think Husband wanted to play too!

The instructions are set out over 18 steps and each part of Feedback's body is number and letter coded so you know which pieces to use. Wee Z seemed to follow the instructions himself quite easily.

The pieces were sometimes a bit fiddly to put together however this didn't seem to phase Wee Z and he kept going until he got the piece on.

It took Wee Z about 20 minutes to put Feedback together. The tail wouldn't stay in place properly but a little bit of glue would help that. Wee Z was quite pleased with himself.

This is more of a build and display toy than a build to play toy but for a Ben 10 fan, it's a great rainy day activity and is in a good price range for a birthday gift.

We gave it a 7/10 - A bit fiddly but great fun for Wee Z

We received the Ben 10 Omni-Kit for the purposes of a review. The opinions expressed are my own.

Red #TheGallery

We recently decorated our bedroom. It needed done. The room hadn't been done in the 8 years I've lived in my house and I'm not sure if it was ever done when Husband bought the house. That was 13 years ago.

I started stripping wallpaper, thinking it was only 1 layer of the stuff to then come across a second layer. We decided to just buy some plasterboard and cover the full room. The walls in our house aren't very thick either, so adding an extra layer of wall was probably the right way to go. It would save us plastering too.

We went with 2 red walls and 2 cream walls. We'd seen something similar in a hotel room we stayed in years ago and always said we would do that in our room.

The transformation was amazing. I couldn't believe the difference a lick of paint had made to our bedroom.

I found some beautiful satin bedsheets, red curtains and a red blackout blind which I think brings the room together beautifully.

We just need to put our carpet down and put the skirting on and the room will be finished.

Monday, 18 March 2013

Funny Things My Kids Say #20

It was a Friday night and I was getting Miss C ready for bed. She had just come out of the shower so I was helping her get dried. She wanted to show me some of her ballet moves she had done that afternoon with her ballet teacher.

"Show me how you do your jumps at ballet" I said.

Miss C stood up straight and tall. She put her feet into first position and her arms out-stretched in a long line.

"This is how my ballet teacher does it!"

Miss C bent her knees slightly, preparing for her jump into the air. As she pushed off the ground and jumped, she farted. She landed and placed one hand over her bottom and the other over her mouth to stifle her giggle.

"Pardon me" she said, trying not to laugh.

"Well, I'm pretty sure that is not how your ballet teacher does her jumps!"

Miss C burst into fits of giggles. And so did I.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

What We Did Last Week #WeekEleven

Last Sunday was Mother's Day. I got to stay in bed until 9:30 and I was treated to a cup of coffee and some lovely cards in bed. After lunch, we went shopping. It was a house shopping day as we needed new bed sheets for our recently decorated bedroom and we ended up ordering a new suite as ours is on its last legs. We went out for Chinese for tea as it was too late to cook anything by the time we got home.

On Monday, we awoke to a blanket of snow. It was quite deep and Husband, who gets up for work at 5am, had already shovelled up the snow into a huge pile for some snowman building. Wee Z went to school but told us we had to wait until he came home to start. Miss C and I spent the day enjoying my new bed sheets. When Wee Z got home, they worked together and managed to build a snow-mountain.

On Tuesday, the snow was gone. I'm not a big fan of the snow so I was glad to see it go. It meant we could go and pick up my delivery from Next at the local Next shop. I'd ordered Miss C some new jeans and a cute two-piece outfit. We took her bike to school to pick Wee Z up.

On Wednesday, Miss C played outside with Jazz the kitten. He has had all of his injections so he is now free to play outside. Miss C tried to get him to play football but he was more interested in chasing the golf ball.

On Thursday, Miss C and I went to McDonalds for lunch. It was a little treat for her since her brother had a play-date organised with one of his friends. We also enjoyed some lovely home-baking from the nursery bake sale.

On Friday, we stayed indoors after nursery. I didn't have to pick Wee Z up from school as he was going on his play-date with his friend from school. Miss C and I watched Masterchef together and drooled over all the yummy food. We had pizza for dinner and watched Bambi for our movie night. Wee Z came home after his Friday club and had had an excellent time with his friend.

On Saturday, the kids had a birthday party to attend. The theme was fancy dress. Wee Z dressed up as an army man and Miss C was a fairy princess. They had fun playing party games until the buffet was announced. Miss C then held firm position infront of the crisps and cakes whilst the other kids danced. In the afternoon, we went into town and we booked our holiday for this year...but that's another post. Husband and I had friends down for dinner. We ordered an Indian takeaway.


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