Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Door #TheGallery

I racked my brains thinking of a photo I could use for the Photo Gallery theme this week. Short of taking a photo of my own front door, I was stuck for inspiration.

It wasn't until I started looking through our old photos that I came across this one.

Our wedding day, 7 years ago.

We both walked through that door that day on our own, (well, with an entourage of Bridesmaids and a Best Man for Husband but you get what I mean) still single people. We both had butterflies in our tummies and we both felt like we might throw up. A mixture of nerves and excitement.

Walking through that door that day would change our lives as we knew them forever. No longer would I be a Miss. I would become a Mrs, which still sounds far too grown up for me.

And then we walked back out the door. Together. Newly married. Mr and Mrs. In sickness and in health. Until death and all that.

The nerves melted away and the excitement took over.

Walking through that door alone ended the journey of our single lives.

Walking back out the door signalled the beginning of our new journey together.

Who knew back then just how good a journey it would be!

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Playmobil Magazine - Review

When we were in Asda the other day, getting our weekly shop, I happened to notice a Playmobil magazine sitting on the shelves amongst the gossip mags and the papers. It included a free Pirate Playmobil character. I had never seen a Playmobil magazine before. It must be a new thing I thought to myself.

I almost bought it, but the kids were pestering me to get out of Asda whilst we were all still speaking. Holidays and shopping do NOT go together.

Luckily for us, I had an email at home, telling us we were going to receive a copy of the brand new Playmobil magazine since we are Playmobil Playologists.

It arrived the next day.

Miss C wasn't impressed that there was only one copy. She wanted one for herself. She was soon appeased with the Pirate figurine, who joined her Playmobil people and pets for a walk along the table.

Wee Z sat down to read the magazine. He prefers to choose a puzzle book over a magazine but he sat for ages, looking at the pages and reading the stories.

Inside the magazine is a comic strip style story about Pirates, pirate crafts, puzzles, games and competitions. You can win Playmobil prizes by taking part in the drawing competition or the games.

The Playmobil magazine costs £3.99 which, considering one of the mini figures alone costs approx £2.50ish, I thought was good value for money and cheaper than some of the other magazines out there. It's perfect for any Playmobil fan.

Issue one is available to buy now!

We received the Playmobil magazine for the purposes of a review as part of our role as Playmobil Playologists. The opinions expressed are my own.

My Favourite Childhood Holiday

Growing up, my Sister and I were very lucky to travel the world and see some amazing places. We went to the South of France, Portugal, America, Mexico, Spain and, of course, the UK.

My favourite childhood holiday was the one we went on with my Dad back in the year 2001. We started the holiday in Disneyland Paris, staying at the Sequoia Lodge for 3 or 4 days. It was so much fun. I was about 14 at the time so I was pretending to be cool but really, I was buzzing with excitement.

The best part of the holiday was when we went to a camping site just north of Paris. We were there for about 10 days. On the first night I was worried that we were going to be bored as there wasn't much to do within the camping complex and it seemed that the kids who had made friends already weren't for having anymore people in their group.

I was so wrong.

We were welcomed into the group and I made friends with some of the loveliest people I have ever known. We are still friends to this day.

By day we lay at the pool and by night we enjoyed the music, the pool table and the park. We were thick as thieves. I don't think I saw my Dad unless he was feeding us but that's what made the holiday so memorable. It was the first holiday we were able to go off ourselves and have fun with people our age. There were no rules (as such) and no curfews (as such).

I didn't think I'd enjoy camping but it really was one of the best holidays in my childhood.

My favourite holiday with my children, so far, was our trip to Arran in 2011. It was just the four of us on a 2 day break and it was so much fun. Scotland is such a beautiful country but sometimes you forget what's just on your doorstep. The kids loved going swimming in the hotel pool and playing in the Play Barn. We enjoyed looking for shells at the beach too.

I really hope we can make our childrens' memories of the holidays as memorable as the ones I had with my family.  

Monday, 29 July 2013

What's The Story #1

What's the Story?

This is one of the first photographs I have of Husband and I, taken when we became boyfriend and girlfriend almost 10 years ago. I had just turned 18. I can't get over how young we look here! Raising kids has taken its toll on us!

Husband and I met in a local drinking hole. It really was a bit of a hole; the bar stools were a bit well-worn and the carpet was sticky but we liked it.

This year, come October, we'll have been together for 10 years. A decade! We have a lot to show for those 10 years. Our beautiful children for starters.

And to think it all started in a sticky, smelly pub all those years ago. It must be love!

Sunday, 28 July 2013

What We Did Last Week #WeekThirty

Last Sunday, I woke up with a really sore head. We had lunch and then played outside in the sunshine before it was time to go to swimming lessons. Miss C did much better this week. It was the last day of our holidays so an early night was in order.

On Monday, Wee Z had a play date with his best friend. His Mum came to pick him up and off they went for the day. Miss C and I had a chilled out day in the house. We played with her Barbie doll in her swimming pool and then watched some TV, mostly the news, waiting for the Royal Baby to arrive. It was back to work for me in the evening which was pretty hard going after a week off! I heard at work that the new Prince had arrived which made it a bit more exciting!

On Tuesday, Wee Z had another play date at his other best friend's house. I picked up Wee Z's best friend and dropped them off at the friend's house. We went in for a little while and we watched them all playing Twister. Miss C wanted to stay! We headed home to play indoors as it was raining!

On Wednesday, we walked to the shops. Wee Z took his scooter and Miss C brought her buggy with her Gruffalo enjoying a push. It started to rain on the way home so we ran quite quickly! I heard at work that the Prince had been named George Alexander Louis. A beautiful name!

On Thursday, we took a walk into town. We had a Greggs sausage roll for lunch which was, of course, followed by a Yum-Yum. We went to the school shop to get Wee Z his school jumper and polo shirts and I ordered Miss C's nursery jumpers and polo shirts. After our shopping, we went to the library to collect a book I had ordered and for a nosey around the museum. It started to rain, heavily. Luckily, Wee Z's best friend was in the museum with his Mum so she gave us a lift home.

On Friday, I took the kids to see my friend and her baby. Wee Z spent the hour we were there with his face in his DS but it kept him amused and out of trouble. Miss C spent the visit playing Hide and Seek with my friend's Spongebob SquarePants dolls. It was pretty funny when she brought him through in the bath seat! We also went to the park since the sun was back and the kids played on the swings.

On Saturday, it was work in the morning for me and Miss C's first Karate class. She was super excited to go. I think she likes the idea of beating people up. She did very well and has an advantage being a leftie that she'll throw people off in competitions as most people learn to fight in the right hand position. When I came home, we went for a drive to the shops and to visit one of Husband's friends.


Saturday, 27 July 2013

365 Project Days 202 - 208

Day 202 - A sleepy Felix
Day 203 - No one gets any sleep around here with Miss C about
Day 204 - The day the rain came back
Day 205 - Mummy's workout
Day 206 - Sausage rolls for lunch
Day 207 - Swinging at the park
Day 208 - Miss C starts Karate

Fun in a Big Pool #CountryKids

The paddling pool had burst
When the cat came for a swim
Well he didn't really want to
He was mostly forced to come in

So on the hottest day of the year
The sun blazing in the sky
We went on a paddling pool hunt
We travelled far and nearby

When Husband finally found one
And he brought it home
It wasn't a paddling pool of sorts
More like a paddling dome

The kids were in water heaven
Enjoying their swimming pool
Even Mummy and Daddy got in
To keep themselves cool

Everyone was welcome
Into the family pool
But no cats are allowed
Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Friday, 26 July 2013

Flashback Friday - Announcing the New Additon

Last week on Flashback Friday, we found out we were expecting again. I was about 4 - 5 weeks pregnant.

To make things official, I went to the Doctors and handed in a sample for a pregnancy test to be done. A few days later, I called for my results and they confirmed I was pregnant.

We made an appointment with my Doctor so they could date my pregnancy and give me a due date. I kept getting pains in my tummy and mentioned this to the Doctor. They told me not to worry but I was, because of our previous history.

The Doctor told me I was about 7 weeks pregnant. My due date was 6th June 2009. The baby was due 5 days after Wee Z's 2nd birthday. At least this way we'd have 6 months between Christmas and birthdays!

We decided to tell our immediate family as a way to stop worrying that things were going to go wrong. I sent the following message:

Baby (surname) is due on 06.06.09

My Mum text me back asking if I'd known I was pregnant whilst we were on holiday. I hadn't or I wouldn't have had those cocktails. Everyone was happy and excited for us.

We decided not to tell Wee Z as he was too young to understand and even if he did, 33 weeks is a long time! I didn't want "when will the baby be here?" every day for the next 6 months.

The Doctor arranged for my 12 week scan to be booked. We only had to wait 5 weeks before we got to see our baby.

Or so we thought...

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

I Made This #TheGallery

A woman's body is amazing. How could you not call something that can make and grow a human baby for 9 months and then give birth to this new life amazing?

I made this.

And I also made this.

Of course, I had a little help from him.

And together we made this.

Our little family of four.

Perfect to me. Perfect to us. Perfect in our own ways.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Things to do Indoors During the Summer Holidays

The heatwave seems to have come to an end. Hello again rain. This is more like the British Summer time we are used too. Knowing that the kids are off for some 7 weeks can be hard going, especially if you are spending a lot of time stuck indoors. Here are some of the ways we try to avoid going stir crazy whilst spending time indoors during the Summer holidays.

  • Build forts/dens
  • Bake
  • Cook
  • Read books
  • Draw
  • Paint
  • Watch a movie
  • Go swimming
  • Go to the cinema
  • Go to Summer clubs
  • Face-painting
  • Jigsaws
  • Crafts
  • Play board games
  • Write stories
  • Play snap
  • Dance
  • Visit the library
  • Play Skylanders (Wee Z's idea!)
  • Colour in
  • Have a good old clear out
  • Download some fun learning sheets from Twinkl
  • Arrange play dates with friends
  • Dress up
What other things can you come up with for enduring enjoying your time indoors during the Summer holidays?

The Crunching Munching Caterpillar - Book Review

We received The Crunching Munching Caterpillar as part of a review for the Little Tiger Press Parent Panel. The Crunching Munching Caterpillar is written by Sheridan Cain and illustrated by Jack Tickle. The book comes with a jumbo sized 30 piece jigsaw which is a picture of the caterpillar munching a yummy leaf. Once you've completed the jigsaw, you can colour in the other side.

This book is about a caterpillar who longs to fly. He is greeted by other animals who have wings like a buzzing bee or a twittering bird. Little does he know that he will be able to fly himself soon enough.

This is a lovely book to read to a young child and easy enough for a first reader to read themselves. The book is bright and colourful. It reminded me a bit of The Hungry Caterpillar but focused more on the development of the caterpillar into butterfly and learning about other animals and insects that could fly too.

The jumbo jigsaw was pretty easy to put together and the pieces felt sturdy. The pieces are a good size for younger children making them easy to pick up and put together.

As the book and jigsaw come in a handy carrycase, it would make a great gift and ideal for travelling with.

We received this book for the purposes of a review for the Little Tiger Press Parent Panel. The opinions expressed are my own.

Sunday, 21 July 2013

What We Did Last Week #WeekTwentyNine

Last Sunday, my Dad came to visit. We went to the park as the sun was shining. The kids had a great time on the swings and climbing frame. We had lunch at home and then headed off to swimming lessons. Miss C did a bit better this week but she still frustrates me because I know she can do better but for some reason she won't. I spoke to her teacher after the class and even he agreed that she could definitely do what she was being asked to do or she wouldn't have been moved up. Extra swimming for us is on the cards.

On Monday, we went swimming. I was determined to get Miss C swimming like she had been. I held her hands and helped her practise kicking her legs. I also got her to jump in herself, something that she won't do in her swimming lessons. Her other swimming teacher was in the pool area and popped over to say hello. We had a chat about how to build her confidence up and she was happy to show him what she'd been practising. After swimming we went for lunch at McDonalds.

On Tuesday, Miss C and I got our hair cut. I had mine highlighted again as I'm trying to go back to being blonder. In the afternoon, I took the kids to the park. It wasn't as sunny as last week but it was hot and I was roasted after our walk there and back. In the evening, the kids played outside with Husband whilst I caught up on Hollyoaks.

On Wednesday, my MIL came to pick the kids up for a sleepover at her house. They left at 10am which meant Husband and I had a full day to ourselves. That doesn't happen very often. I took a walk in to town to get some things and then came home to get ready for our evening out. We went to our favourite Italian restaurant and enjoyed some really yummy food and wine.

On Thursday, my MIL brought the kids home around 1:30 and we were straight back out to go and get our nails done. Miss C and I chose a hot pink colour whilst my MIL had a french polish done. After getting our nails done, we headed to our favourite cafe for coffee and cake. It was so hot though, I just couldn't eat my cake. A first! We then went back to the car via the pet shop and came home with our new addition, Felix.

On Friday, we took a road trip and headed to the Time Capsule swimming complex. We had lots and lots of fun playing in the pool and enjoying the slides. We stayed there for almost 3 hours. We went for some lunch and then headed to a nearby park. It was a beautiful, sunny day.

On Saturday, I woke up not feeling great at all. I had a really sore tummy. We spent the day outside in the garden. Miss C enjoyed the swimming pool with her friend, Wee L and I took Wee Z to a birthday party at the local soft play. It was really too nice to be indoors! When we came home, Wee Z got in the pool with Miss C and I fell asleep on my deck chair. An early night was called for.


Saturday, 20 July 2013

365 Project Days 195 - 201

Day 195 - Balancing at the park
Day 196 - Happy Anniversary
Day 197 - Fun in the garden
Day 198 - Out for our Anniversary
Day 199 - Our new pet, Felix
Day 200 - Road trip
Day 201 - Looking very cute

Fish and Chips by the Sea #CountryKids

On a glorious day
We went to the sea
And enjoyed to eat
A fish and chip tea

Sitting on a bench
Overlooking the ocean
The seagulls around us
Causing a commotion

Nothing is better
When the weather is good
To sit at the beach
And enjoy some battered food

It was off to park
When we were done
And then it was ice cream
Before we went home

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Friday, 19 July 2013

Flashback Friday - Oops We Did It Again

Last Flashback Friday post I wrote about how I was feeling broody after visiting my nephew. Husband and I had decided a few months beforehand that we would like to have another baby so I came off my pill. We weren't going to be meticulous about it; if and when it was meant to be, it would happen.

My Mum and I had just come back from our holiday with Wee Z in Portugal. We'd enjoyed some sunshine, some yummy food and a few cheeky cocktails. It was a really fun break.

About a week after we came home, I was due my period. When you are trying to get pregnant (or just not doing anything to stop getting pregnant in our case) you know when your periods are due and when the day arrives you wait for your Aunt Flo to arrive with baited breath. I woke up that morning thinking my period had arrived. It hadn't.

I went to the toilet, expecting it to be there. It wasn't.

Husband took Wee Z swimming. I walked around just waiting for it to show up. I was about to go and pick Wee Z and Husband up from the pool but decided to take a detour to Asda for a pregnancy test. I went to the toilet there and did the test.

I went to pick Husband and Wee Z up. They were waiting for me. Husband got in the car after putting Wee Z in his car seat.

I handed him my stick.

He was shocked but pleased.

We were going to be parents.


Thursday, 18 July 2013

Meet Our New Pet - Felix

After putting Casper and Rocky to sleep within the space of 3 days, I swore we would never have another pet. We had Morgan and Jazz left and that was good enough for me. I couldn't go through the heartbreak again, although, I guess we will have to do that eventually with both Morgan and Jazz.

Today, Miss C and I went in to town with my MIL. We were getting our nails done and then having coffee and cake at our favourite cafe. It was a beautiful day.

On the way back to the car, Miss C wanted to go into the pet shop. She loves going to see the rabbits and guinea pigs. Every time I go in, I look for kittens. We got Rocky from the pet shop 9 years ago. He was the last in the litter and was sitting there, miaowing for someone to take him home.

We'd been in the shop for about 5 minutes, having not seen any kittens, and were about to leave when I happened to look in one of the top cages. There they were. Three adorable kittens. They were all cuddled up, sleeping because it was so warm. The kittens were about 7 and a half weeks old. Almost born to the date that Casper and Rocky had been put to sleep. One was ginger but the other two were a fantastic combination of black and white. Casper had been all white and Rocky had been all black. To me it was like fate.

I asked to see the two black and white kittens out. They were both males just like Casper and Rocky. The first one to come out was very vocal and cuddly. As soon as he went back in the cage, he was up at the bars, miaowing at Miss C and cuddling her finger. The second one was much quieter and went back to sleep once he was back in the cage.

A quick phone call to Husband and it was decided. We were taking the first kitten. Miss C was delighted.

We brought him home and he was straight up to see us all. He followed us around the house and had no issues with Miss C picking him up and cuddling him. He reminded me of the way Casper was when he first came to the house. However, he also had the confidence to stick up for himself when Jazz and Morgan came in, just like Rocky did when he first came to the house.

He reminds me of the cat from the Felix advert so we decided to call him Felix.

I know I said we'd never get another pet but we did. It was meant to be. Felix won't replace Casper or Rocky in any way but he will be loved just as much and it looks like he will fit right in to the family too.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Into The Archives #TheGallery

This is the oldest photo of me because it was taken on the day I was born, almost 29 years ago.

I was the first born grandaughter on both sides of my family. My parents had gotten married the year before in February and a year and 8 months later, I came along. I think I may have been an anniversary baby but I try not to think about that too much. 

When I look at baby photos of myself and then look at photos of my own children, I do think they look like I did when I was a baby, especially Wee Z. He has the same almond shaped eyes as me and they both have my lip shape. It's scary to recognise your baby-self in your children. 

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Will Your Child be the Voice of Playmobil?

If your children love Playmobil, like mine do, then maybe they'd love the chance to voice the new Playmobil Christmas advert?

Playmobil are offering a child aged 10 years or younger the opportunity to win this amazing prize simply by making a video of themselves talking about why they love Playmobil. Or, if you are feeling very creative, you can make your own Playmobil advert.

Once you have made your video, simply upload it to YouTube and send Playmobil the link or send the file to them. Every Friday, Playmobil will give away a prize to their favourite video entered in that week so there's a little incentive to enter even if you don't win.

Not only will your child be the voice-over for the new Christmas ad if they win, they'll also receive £250 worth of Playmobil toys.

For full terms and conditions of entry, visit the Playmobil UK Facebook page. The closing date is 11:59pm on Sunday 4th August 2013 and is open to UK residents only as your child will have to visit their recording studios to film the ad.

I'm sharing this post as we are Playmobil Playologists. I have not received any form of payment for this post, I just think this a fab competition to enter.

Monday, 15 July 2013

Funny Things My Kids Say #23

Our little kitten Jazz is off to the vets today to be neutered and to be micro chipped. I've been calling it the day he gets "chipped and chopped!" Poor cat.

Miss C has been upset about the vets since Casper and Rocky were put to sleep. She now asks if the cats will be coming back whenever they go to the vet and she asked the same question this morning when we told her Jazz was going to the vet.

"Why is Jazz going to the vet Daddy?" asked Miss C.

"He's going to have a little operation" said Daddy.

"Why?" asked Miss C.

"It's an operation to stop him having kittens. And so he doesn't smell" said Daddy.

"Like you?" asked Miss C.

I nearly fell over from laughing so hard.

Sunday, 14 July 2013

What We Did Last Week #WeekTwentyEight

Last Sunday, the kids gave us a lie in until 10am. We got up, had breakfast and then went to play outside as the sun was shining. Not for too long though as we wanted to watch Andy Murray playing in the Wimbledon final. I took the kids to swimming lessons and kept up with the match through Twitter and Facebook. We got home just in time to see Andy Murray pick up his trophy! A fantastic day!

On Monday, it was back to work for me. The kids and Husband enjoyed the morning sunshine by putting the paddling pool up. When I came home, I got changed and lay in the sun for a few hours. It was a beautiful day! The kids had a great time in the pool and when Wee Z got fed up, he sat and read a Roald Dahl book all by himself. He finished the book too!

On Tuesday, it was another beautiful day. Wee Z went to the kid's club at school with one of his friends. I picked him up when I finished work and we headed home to the pool. Miss C was having a great time practising her swimming but Wee Z wasn't really in the mood for the pool. After dinner, they both decided they wanted to go in the pool again.  

On Wednesday, Wee Z went to his club again. Miss C and I picked him up when I finished work and then we washed the car. We took a walk to the shops to get some milk and some sweets for after dinner. Husband went to the airport to pick up Bello as he was visiting for a few days.

On Thursday, we went on the train to the city centre with Bello. We did some shopping, had some lunch and then went to the big toy shop. It was a beautiful day but we were glad of some shade in the shops.

On Friday, as our paddling pool had burst, we went on a new pool hunt. Not an easy task when the sun was shining in Scotland! We ended up getting the only one we could find which turned out to be an 8ft pool which took almost 2 hours to fill. The kids couldn't wait to get in it. We enjoyed some sunbathing whilst Wee Z and Miss C stayed in the pool for 5 hours. They had their friends, Miss E and Wee L in to play and the next door neighbour's grandchildren came over too. It was another beautiful day!

On Saturday, I was up before the crack of dawn for the Next sale. I find it is really worth getting up early to grab the best of the bargains. I got quite a lot of things! I then headed to work for a few hours and when I came home, it was pretty much time to take Bello to the airport. We took him to our favourite cafe first so we could have some coffee and cake. After dropping Bello off at the airport and a little bit more retail therapy, we headed to the beach for a fish supper dinner. It was a great day!


Saturday, 13 July 2013

365 Project Days 188 - 194

Day 188 - Glued to Wimbledon
Day 189 - Paddling pool fun
Day 190 - Sleeping in the sun
Day 191 - A walk with the buggy
Day 192 - Enjoying a spot of lunch
Day 193 - Swimming pool fun
Day 194 - Cuddles at the beach

Summer is Here #CountryKids

The sunshine is finally here
We've been waiting for most of the year

 In the garden enjoying the sun
Playing in the pool and having fun

Reading our books and wearing our hats
We're all loving the sun except for the cats

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Friday, 12 July 2013

Flashback Friday - Meeting a Baby Cousin

For Flashback Friday this week, I'm continuing my journey of first time motherhood with Wee Z. This week I decided to write about our trip to visit my cousin, who stays up in the north of Scotland, a few weeks after she had given birth to her second baby, a little boy.

We travelled by car and had booked a room for one night at a local Premier Inn. I couldn't wait to meet my new nephew. My cousin and I were very close growing up, even when we lived oceans apart, so we see each other as Aunts to our children.

We went to the hotel, dropped off our stuff and then headed over to meet the new baby. We would also get to see my niece and Wee Z would get to see his big cousin again. The last time he had seen her, he wouldn't have known he was there as he was only a few months old.

It was lovely to hold a brand new baby again. He was so tiny and cute. I was feeling mega broody. Wee Z wasn't fussed with his new cousin and was more interested in playing with his big cousin. They were so funny together, running around the house and making a lot of noise.

The next day we headed down to the beach to go to the funfair and for some lunch. Wee Z and his big cousin were on all the rides and had a great time. My nephew was as good as gold and we didn't hear a peep from him the whole time. I missed those baby days where you could just watch them sleep and you didn't have to worry about running after them everywhere.

We had lunch at a Chinese restaurant. Wee Z and his big cousin just had to sit together and share prawn crackers.

All too soon it was time for us to go home. Being around a new baby had made both Husband and I a bit broody. Wee Z was indifferent. However, seeing him play with another child so well made us think that perhaps it was time to think about adding a new baby of our own to the family.

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Parragon Books - Review

We love reading in our house and we are always happy to receive lovely books in the post to review. Parragon sent us some reading books and a very pretty colouring in storybook to review.

Miss C got straight to work on her Pinkabella Colours In colouring book. We loved the butterfly made from different coloured crayons. There are lots of very girly and very pretty pictures to colour in. The colouring book is also a story book and tells you all about Pinkabella and her brothers and sister and her best friend. They have animals friends too and these were the first things Miss C set about colouring in. The crayons can be stored on the front of the book and there is a carry handle so this is an ideal book for travelling with as everything is kept together.

Miss C also received a book called Bunny Loves to Write. It is written by Peter Bentley who also wrote the book Bunny Loves to Read. It is beautifully illustrated by Emma Foster. This is a lovely picture book about a bunny called Buster, who is writing a story for school. His friends help him along the way by just being themselves. He reads them the story he has written so far and they all help him to finish the story. Miss C loves animals so this was a great book to read to her.

Wee Z received his own book to read called Will Solvit and the T-Rex Terror, written by Zeo Storm. He loved the secret decoder parts in the book. He read the book himself but from the bits he read out to me about passing wind and really tall dinosaurs, this book was right up his street. He finished it the same day he got it. I'll be looking out for more Will Solvit books for him!

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

Playmobil Deep Sea Submarine - Review

When Wee Z's package arrived from Playmobil, he was off with it before I got the chance to see what he received to review. He pretty much had in built by the time I got to him with the camera in my hand. Wee Z loves to put things together and clearly he had no trouble putting the Deep Sea Submarine together. It was done within 10 minutes.

Included with the Deep Sea Submarine are two figures, dressed in wetsuits and they have their very own headsets. They look just like the ones we have at my work! You also get some ocean treasures which can be placed inside the submarine's claws and you get an underwater motor so your submarine can come in the bath! The motor requires 1AA battery which is not included.

The figures sit inside the cabin of the submarine by lifting the top off. Once inside, you place the lid on and it locks in place so the cabin becomes completely waterproof for playing with the submarine in the bath. There is a hand pump which attaches to the submarine so when in the water, you can control how deep the submarine goes. We couldn't really get this to work properly although there were moments when the pump worked and you could see the submarine attempting to come up to the surface.

Wee Z enjoyed playing with the submarine, especially in the bath. I'm not sure if the motor was really needed as he preferred to use his own imagination to decide where the submarine went. I like that you don't usually need batteries for Playmobil toys!

The Deep Sea Submarine is suitable for ages 4 and over which I felt was pretty accurate. Most Playmobil toys have small pieces which present a choking hazard to younger children.

It appears to be quite reasonably priced online. A good price for a birthday or Christmas present. The Deep Sea Submarine is part of a huge selection of the City Action sets so there are lots of other sets that can be bought to add to or to start building a collection.

We give this 8/10 - Good toy for the price but not sure the motor part was needed.

We received the Deep Sea Submarine for the purposes of a review as part of the Playmobil Playologist programme. The opinions expressed are my own.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Sun #TheGallery

As soon as it is warm enough, the paddling pool is out and so are the deck chairs.

Only the sounds of my children, laughing and having fun.

Not having to run after them or worry about them wondering off anywhere.

Everything is to hand. No long queues for toilets or the ice cream van.

This is the best way to enjoy the Sun. In my garden, on my deck chair, working on going from milk bottle white to just off white.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Twinkl Resources - Review

Twinkl is a fantastic website, full of primary teaching resources that parents can download and print off to use in our homes for free. We were asked if we'd like to review Twinkl and were provided with a premium subscription to allow us to access a further 10000 resources for one year. Twinkl is not just for parents, they offer a package to suit schools too.

I find the Summer holidays long, especially if it is raining. Wee Z loves to learn and do puzzle books but there are only so many puzzle books I can buy. This is where Twinkl comes in. From Early Years stages up to Key Stage 2, there is something for every child. I'd definitely recommend a look around the site!

You can download and print off math worksheets, English worksheets, activities and games, awards, behaviour charts and so much more. Everything is categorised so the site is really easy to navigate. Downloading the content is easy; it opens up as a PDF file and you print off the sheets you want.

There are topics such as Under the Sea from which we printed off a wordsearch and some colouring in sheets. Wee Z had the wordsearch done within 2 minutes. Miss C chose a seahorse to colour in. There were lots of sea creatures to choose from; an ideal way to learn some more about the animals that live under the sea.

There is a parent area where you can have a look at things like behaviour management, educational guides and a pack that I thought was fab for any parent with a child starting primary school in August or September, the school preparation pack. It contains things like "what to expect" and a brilliant welcome pack full of key words and letters and numbers your child will learn in their first year of school.

If you have a question then Twinkl have a forum area that parents and teachers can use to ask all sorts of education-related questions or to just have a chat. It's really easy to navigate because all the categories are well laid out.

I think I'm going to find Twinkl really handy over the Summer holidays. We've already downloaded and printed off some math worksheets for Wee Z. We decided to go with ones that would encourage his comprehension skills so he has to work out what sum he is being asked to complete instead of just answering the math problem. He did really well!

The premium subscription costs £29.99 for the year. Of course, you can just download and print the free content too. The premium subscription does give you access to extra content so I guess it depends how often you would use the site as to whether the premium subscription would be of benefit to you. I would definitely use Twinkl every day provided it was regularly updated with new content.

"And some more wordsearch sheets!" says Wee Z.

We received a premium subscription to Twinkl for the purposes of a review. The opinions expressed are my own. 

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