29 August 2013

A Little Obsessed With Bags

Now I know I'm probably not the first woman to have a bag fetish and definitely wont be the last. I love that you can buy different sizes, styles, colours to suit your mood and that every one has its own unique personality traits. 

For the moment though, I stick to mummy style bags. The changing bag styles which have loads of room for everything I need to take out for the whole family. 

I love checking out the web to find pretty looking bags and always bookmark websites for future credit card bashings. The one I have saved at the moment is Baby Lurve as they do a whole host of styles to suit every mummy and children too. All their products are inspired by the needs of parents.

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Photo from Baby Lurve
I know, I know, changing bags are supposed to be practical and not for style purposes but have you seen Pink Lining changing bags which are not only functional and practical but are also stylish and I'm sure any mummy, including me, has one of these beauties on their list of must haves. 
It doesn't even matter that my children are getting to the age where I wont need a changing bag any more, I would still happily use a Pink Lining bag as a regular shoulder bag as they are so pretty. 

For me though, it doesn't have to be bags from me that are stylish or whatever but even the bags I buy for the boys get my spending juices flowing. The ranges of cute backpacks out there for children is amazing and in my time, I have come across some beautiful designs and also cute styles too. 

With school just around the corner, I have been trying to find a nice backpack for Thomas to use for his first year at full time school and want one that not only has enough space to hold his reading books but is also nice for him to carry. I have been looking at the Skip Hop range of bags for children and have fallen in love with them.
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Photo from Baby Lurve

Their cute animal designs which have little poky-out ears on the sides would be loved by no doubt every child and I'm sure Thomas would love to wear it with pride. 
I love the fact that they have detachable reins so younger children can wear the backpack and mummy can walk behind knowing that their child is safe from running away. 

Just these little design features make my bag obsession grow a little bit more every day. 

What about you, do you obsessively buy bags or do you have another obsession?

- Featured Post

Alphablocks Volume 3: Letter Teams

Thomas is now getting to the age where he is learning about phonics and trying to learn how letters combine together to make words. 
It is hard to try and teach a child different words sometimes as there are so many letters than can sounds different and when combined together can make a totally different sound. We do go through the alphabet in lower-case letters and then try to teach him using a lot of slow motion kind of learning.
We would usually say things like c-aaa-t for cat so he understands that there are letters in between which make the word up.

Alphablocks is a DVD which teaches all about this but is fun whilst learning. 

The Alphablocks are 26 living letters who fall out of the sky and discover that if they hold hands and make a word, it comes to life. 
Words are magic and anything is possible. It's an adventure with songs and games all the way.

When your child is happy with letters and simply words, it's time to meet the letters team: two letters that make one sound. 
Take phonics skills to the next level and boost reading confidence while having lots and lots of fun.

The programme is very engaging and both children enjoyed every minute of it even if Charlie was just laughing along to it, Thomas was actually copying the things it was saying and seemed to be understanding what it was trying to say.

There is a lot of music, singing and interesting ways of presenting the words as a whole which makes the experience very fun-filled for both Thomas and Charlie.

I think that it is great to learn phonics at a young age as it helps boost their reading skills and so whilst Thomas is learning this now, Charlie is also watching it and taking things in at the same time.

Be warned though, the songs are so catchy. I have many times walked round the supermarket, happily singing 'We can laugh ha ha, we can singing la la la la, we can make, anything'...

Learn to Read with Alphablocks!

You can check out more information about the whole set of the Alphablocks volumes at www.abbeyhomemedia.com

28 August 2013

Wednesday Words - Gift

What annoys me is when people keep a grudge. What they don't realise is that the only person it is affecting is themselves. Get on with your life, live for today and don't think about people who have done you wrong in the past. 

I love this quote and think it sums up how I feel so well:

"The clock is running. Make the most of today.                         
      Time waits for no man. Yesterday is history.             
            Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift.       
                        That's why it is called the present."
- Author Unknown

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Dinosaur Train Toys By TOMY

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We have reviewed the main part of the Dinosaur Train range before when we wrote about the dinosaur Interaction figures and now our next haul has come in the form of the smaller collectable figures and the actual dinosaur train itself. In our box of delights, we received: 

  • Lights & Sounds Train with Laura
  • Buddy with Train Car
  • Conductor with Train Car
  • Derek, Ollie & Mr Pteranodon

Each of the carriages, even the separate packs, connect together and all of the dinosaurs come with a little hole in their foot which connects them onto the dinosaur train so they don't fall over. 
Ours weren't really affected by that though as Charlie thought it would be more fun to have as many dinosaurs in each carriage as possible, I just hope that none of herbivores are mixed with the carnivores or we may have some trouble on board!

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The train itself lights up and makes noises when the button at the front is pressed which Thomas loves to do and although the dinosaurs don't make noises, the boys enjoy making the 'roars' themselves and I think that this promotes more imaginative play as they are joining in with it all too.

Each of the figures has their own name so Thomas can identify them easier and they are very detailed in design. Not only that but since they come in a pack of 3, Thomas has asked if he can have some more for Christmas to build his collection.

Have a look at the Dinosaur Train in use in our small video:

Unlike the Interaction Figures, which had moving parts, these dinosaurs don't and are more for collecting or using on the train itself. They are small in size too and at £4.99 for a pack of 3, are perfect for little boys when they get their pocket money. 

You can see more of the Dinosaur Train toys on the TOMY website.

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27 August 2013

Ideas For Summer Fun In The School Holidays

As the school holidays are way into the last few weeks, this is where children start to get bored of the longness and want to be back at school. I remember this oh too well, how I would wake up just wishing it was September and that I could go and see my friends again because the holidays are so long and finding things to keep yourself occupied is hard work, even harder though for younger children. 

So, here is a great list of 20 ideas for summer fun that you can do to help keep your children busy over these next few weeks before school starts. I know that we'll be doing a few of these over the next few days but I'll definitely be looking into and giving number 12 a go.

All these little can be done to keep children busy and they are all also great for bonding and getting out there and doing something yourself. 

I actually remember using potatoes to make shapes and painting with them when I was a child. It is a great idea as you can create any shapes imaginable and it also helps children's hand-eye coordination whilst they are making the small designs.

Going for a long bike ride might be good for your child but it's great for keeping fit and means you get to see some awesome sights too. 

Baking and cooking dinners together are also brill ideas as not only do you get to do it as a family, meaning your child is more likely to eat it if they've seen and helped it being made, but also you get to eat the finished results. 

There are some fantastic ideas and I know we will definitely be trying some. out, will you?

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25 August 2013

Peppa Pig Vitamins For Children

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With both boys being ill the past few weeks, their immune system will have taken a hit. Chicken Pox is a viral infection and even though the spotty side effects may have gone, the virus can last a while and so I wanted to make sure that they were getting all of their daily intake of vitamins necessary to fight off any more illnesses and to keep them healthy. 

With September approaching and the new school term arriving soon, ensuring children are in great health is on probably at the top of every parents mind too. 

Yorkshire Blog, Parent Blog, Mummy Blogging,I've found that most vitamins come in a tablet form and are not suitable for children and so these newly launched Peppa Pig gummies are to be a massive hit for children everywhere. Ideal for fussy eaters who often refuse healthier options, the recently launched Peppa Pig Vitamin selection from Holland & Barrett is great for topping up your child’s diet with essential vitamins.

The Peppa Pig Vitamin C Gummies are available in tangy Orange and Lemon flavours and they provide 150% of a child’s RDA of Vitamin C. 
Vitamin C is a vital part of maintaining and boosting our immune systems and so these gummies are perfect to fight illnesses, they are also high in anti-oxidants so are perfect for when the winter months set in.

The George Pig Multivitamin Gummies provide Vitamin A, B12, C, D and E to your child’s RDA. 
Providing a fun and tasty way for you to ensure they are getting all the necessary vitamins they need, they are available in four fruity flavours: Apple, Blackcurrant, Strawberry and Orange. Both packs are suitable for children aged 3+

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Each of the boxes come complete with 7 packs of vitamins and each pack has 3 gummies inside in either the shape of Peppa or George. 

Thomas loves eating these, especially as they love Peppa Pig, but also because they come in nice flavours and to them, they are just sweets so they think that they are getting a treat rather than vitamins. 

They are priced at £2.49 for seven packs and are available at Holland and Barrett stores nationwide and online at www.hollandandbarrett.com.

24 August 2013

Project 365 Week 34

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Our week has consisted of lots of park play and fun filled days. 

We went to a few different parks to keep the boys occupied which is great for them but as it's free, it's great for us too. 
Having a walk around the war memorial up at Armley Park after picking wild flowers and playing on the climbing frames. Another day, sitting and watching the world go by up at the Wrecky Park and then even more park play when we went to our local park with friends and, even though Charlie had a sulk and fell to sleep, Thomas loved playing with the girls on the park. 

When it got a bit windy, we decided to have an indoor picnic. Nothing too extravagant, just sandwiches, carrot sticks, crackers and Twiglets, but the boys enjoyed it. 

I started getting Graze boxes a few week ago now. I get a kids box for the boys and then a nibble one for myself. They are lovely and have some nice flavours in them. You can join Graze here and get your first box for free. This week mine had a little bag of popcorn in it but since Thomas loves popcorn, he pinched them out of my box.

Not often do I have photos of myself taken and so, for a change, I thought I'd show you the person who is behind the blog, behind all this babbling... me!

Thomas does have his own little pram just for his doll but usually you will find Charlie running around the garden with it, so I decided to get Charlie's old pram out for Thomas to play with. He loved pushing it around the garden with his Doll, named George, in it.

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Let's Get Social Sunday

Back To School With Miffy and The Beano

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When I started buying from the back to school ranges, I realised just how boring some of the school items are. Plain, block colour and everyone looks like sheep with their ugly books and boring stationary, baaaaa!

So when I came across Miffy and The Beano back to school ranges, it was like a breath of fresh air to actually see bright, bold, patterned stationary that any child would love to have. 

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Miffy is a classic children’s character from Dick Bruna storybooks. There is now a range of back to school products including backpacks, books, notepads, pens, pencils and pencil cases all with the Miffy logo on them. We received 2 items from this range:

A cute yellow and orange flower design notebook which is priced at £3.99 from Waterstones. This notebook is bright and bold on the outside and has loads of lined pages inside, perfect for jotting everything down. 

We also got a pencil case which is £5.99 to buy and comes with a cute picture of Miffy on the front of it. Secured with a zip to stop stationary from falling out, it is a good sized pencil case which will easily fit everything in that a child will need for school. 
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The Beano range includes products from Britain’s most iconic comic including Dennis the Menace. The range includes The Beano A5 Journal priced at £9.95 which we received. I love the style of this as it features a cool comic-strip style front page which will get any child interested in it.

The pages inside lined and just the right size for Thomas as, at the moment, I am trying to teach him to write and so there needs to be enough room for me to right a word and him copy underneath a few times. It is actually the perfect size for practising on and the fact that it stands out means that Thomas likes using it to learn to write on. 

The Press Release states 'It's the 75th Anniversary of The Beano - the world's best known comic. To celebrate the occasion, a whole range of Beano products featuring the much loved, iconic characters Dennis the Menace, Gnasher, Minnie the Minx, Bananaman and The Bash Street Kids, is being launched on the high street across the UK.'

Not only do these products stand out to the older children who may have seen the comics turned into cartoons and watched them on television but the products are also very retro too so will stand out to a whole host of different personalities. 

I'm sure every Miffy and The Beano fans will be jumping at the chance to show these off at school. 

You can purchase The Beano journal from www.bloomsburystore.com and the Miffy notebook and pencil case from www.waterstones.com.

23 August 2013

Make Your Next Holiday a Seaside Escape!

With Miles of Stunning Natural Coastline, Escape to One of Britain’s Best Secret Beaches on Your Next Holiday

One of Britain’s main attractions is its long, stunning coastline and while certain beaches remain popular year after year, others are still dying to be discovered. So if you fancy getting away from it all, take a stroll down to one of Britain’s secret beaches to spend the day relaxing in the natural beauty of the British coastline. 

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The Lizard and Kynance Cove
The Lizard peninsula is best known as the most southerly place in the British Isles and if anything makes it worth the trip, it’s Kynance Cove. Visitors frequently describe this cove as one of the most breathtakingly beautiful sights in Britain and not without good reason. Follow the path from Lizard Village to Kynance Cove and stand on top of the cliffs for a spectacular view of its rock formations, or venture down to the beach at low tide to soak in the sights of the clear blue sea.

Barafundle Bay, Pembrokeshire
It’s no secret that Barafundle Bay is one of the most beautiful beaches in the UK, but as an isolated part of the Welsh coastline, you’re unlikely to have to share it with many other tourists. Backed by sand dunes and crystal clear waters, this small bay is only accessible by a cliff path walk; giving you a great excuse to explore the stunning Welsh coastline on foot. 

Porthcurno near Land’s End, Cornwall
Just a ten-minute drive from Land’s End lies Porthcurno Beach – one of Britain’s most southerly hidden beaches and undoubtedly one of its best. Tucked between two sets of cliffs, this beach’s fine white sand is bordered by the Celtic Sea which turns turquoise in the sun in true picture postcard style. 

This beach is popular with families in the summer and has a stream at the top which is ideal for children to paddle in. A lifeguard service is present in the summer months and a seasonal dog ban takes place between Easter Day and 1st October.

Bamburgh, Northumberland
Bamburgh Beach lies within the Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is overlooked by the historic Bamburgh Castle. While this beach is popular with holidaymakers, Northumberland remains one of the least densely populated counties of England and one of the best places in Britain to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life. Taking a dip in the North Sea is optional but a leisurely stroll along this beach at sunset is an absolute must.

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21 August 2013


When looking around Facebook, I always find random companies and 'like' them for no reason at all. Most of the time, they will have a competition running and so I will pop over and enter it and then never give them a second thought, unless I win that is! Today was that day...

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I received an email from a lovely lady from Casabu saying I was a winner from their competition and had won a Micro Scooter! Now if you don't know what a Micro Scooter is (no, it's not a tiny scooter!), it's only the most sought after scooter and I won a Limited Edition one, as shown in the picture. 

Shocked is an understatement! Thomas loves his Micro Scooter and now we have one in the next size up for when he gets a little older. 

All this from entering a simple competition from their Facebook page. 

After this, I started digging a little bit into who they were, what they did etc. 

Casabu is a website that runs daily sales of stylish clothing, toys, nursery equipment, maternity gear and treats for mums. Not only do they sell products from the most sought after brands but also from new children's brands from around the UK and Europe. 

Items can be discounted from at least 40% off the retail price and sometimes up to 90% off!

To get these exclusive discounts you just need to sign up to their website www.casabu.com which is free to do and every morning at 8am, a new sale goes live. You can sign up using your Facebook account too so it makes it even easier!

In a way, I am gutted that I haven't signed up before now because they have some gorgeous things on their website. Stunning maternity wear which is practical ans stylish. Cute toys and dinnerware for children perfect for their busy imaginations and everything else in between too. 

A one stop shop for everything needed for mummies and children and I will definitely be buying from here and making sure I check out the deals the have running. 

Not only that but if you click through to their Facebook page, you have the chance to win one of 5 x £20 vouchers to spend on their website, good eh?

Wednesday Words - Loyalty

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There are many quotes I see around the internet which I like and I'm forever sharing them to Facebook, either funny ones or very thought provoking ones.

I love reading how others interpret them and everyone else's opinions. 
The ones that get me thinking though are the best. The ones that make me look at myself and the people around me to figure out if it's true for us.

My Wednesday Words this week is:

'Blood makes you related. Loyalty makes you family!'

I think that these days, more of our close friends become more like family to us.

I mean, there have been and still will be many times that I've walked straight past a person who is related to me and not recognised them. There are also times that I purposely avoid family members and look the other way hoping they don't recognise me but that's a whole different story.

My family, my loved ones are the people that are in my heart, in my thoughts and always on my mind.

They don't need to be blood related.

My husband, my soul mate, the love of my life! The man that gifted me with 2 gorgeous children and a loving 5 year marriage that I hope will last many more years to come!

There is one person whom I will always class as my best friend and dearest family. I have known her since I was 4 year old. She never judges me and we always talk, even if it's just crap and gossip, we know that we are always there for one another.

Family isn't about blood. It's about the people who you couldn't live without!

Crazy With Twins

20 August 2013

Package Holiday Fun

Simon and myself have been together for nearly nine years now, married for five and have since had 2 beautiful children, but the one thing we have never done, is have a holiday together. Don't get me wrong, we have been away, we have had holidays with my parents and my brother but never just us, just our family, the four of us. 

I have never been abroad without my parents before, they have always been my safety net in case anything goes wrong. There to sort everything out on our family holidays, organise where we stay, who we fly with and everything we do whilst away. 

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On holiday with my parents in 2010

How could I do all that? Where do I start? How do I know what time we land, organise transfers, hotels, days out? It's all so confusing. 

That's where package holidays come in. 
Package holidays include everything you will need to organise for the holiday, all wrapped up and sorted in one big swoop without having to figure it out yourself. I have been looking at package deals with Ice Lolly to see where are the most family-friendly places to go. 

I would love to take the boys somewhere hot where they can play in the sea, rub the sand between their toes and see some amazing sights. Thomas is always talking about wanting to go see the fishes and so going somewhere where he can actually go into the sea without getting hypothermia would mean he gets to swim around with them and play and splash and laugh.

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Dreaming of Luxury!
The best thing about package holidays is the fact that there is no fuss and no messing. Just book the holiday and make sure you're there for the flight. Everything else is sorted in with the holiday.

Even better though as some are all inclusive. This means that all food and drinks in the hotel are included. No more having to spend a fortune on dinners or ice creams for the kids as they are free. So not only is everything sorted for you, you're saving money too. The only cash you will need is to buy the tacky souvenirs for family members and friends at home. They've obviously always wanted a 'wish you were here' ornament from Spain!

Everything is done for you making relaxing on holiday even easier. Perfect for me!

19 August 2013

Learning The Green Cross Code

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Thomas officially is no longer my little boy. He is growing up more and more each day, he is now more independent and wants to do things for himself. Cue learning the Green Cross Code.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm never going to let him go out on his own, crossing roads and going places, but I think it's about time that he knows how to cross a road safely whilst he's still young. Instil the way of the roads into his head now so that when it does get to the point where he can go out on his own (not any time soon!), he will know how to safely manoeuvre across without risk to himself. 

I've started packing a full bag before going out now, full of everything we need in case anything happens whilst we are out and about, crossing the roads. Things that I had never even thought about before but now, think they are staple items to keep in my bag. 
A small First Aid Kit as you never know when those nasty kerbs will jump out and trip you up. 
Secondly, I now take a notepad and pen. This way, if any accidents did occur whilst we are out and about, I can easily write down license plate numbers, any information I would need in the future or, whilst speaking to the emergency services, I could write down any advice following a traffic accident that I may need for future reference. 
Finally, my mobile phone. Well this one is a bit of a cop out as I never leave the house without my phone anyway. It is good however, in case any incidents occur. Having it close to hand means that I can ring my husband or, if worst comes to worst, the emergency services if anything untoward was to happen. 

Venturing out with Thomas I try to instil the 'Stop, Look & Listen' words into his head so that he always knows to follow these rules before crossing the road. 

Mummy Blogging, Parent Blog, Yorkshire Blog, Stop - Making sure that Thomas stops before setting off across the road. Stop before the kerb so he can see the drivers and they can see him.
Look -Make sure he can see both left and right clearly and that there are no bends in the road whereby a car could quickly appear from.
Listen - Sometimes looking just isn't enough. Always listen out to see if you can hear anything coming nearby. 

When your in a rush and there seems to be enough room on the road to get across without having to walk all the way to the traffic lights might sounds like a good idea at that moment, but what about when your child is on there own and also thinks that it is the right thing to do. Always cross at the traffic lights. How will your child learn if you are doing the complete opposite? The best thing about using traffic lights is teaching children about the red and green men. Thomas knows that stop at the edge of the road, press the button and wait for the green man before crossing but then, even then when all the traffic is stopping, he still needs to look left and right to make sure that it is safe. 

Thomas now knows to always look left and right before crossing but sometimes does try to step out before fully checking so I make sure that I'm always there, holding his hand to pull him back before anything serious could happen. 

As a parent, I am responsible for teaching my children the ways of the road. 

What do you do to teach your children? Do you have any tips?

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Zeamu Music Review & Giveaway

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Now that Thomas is getting a little older, he is getting a bit bored of the normal, mundane music that is on offer for children. There are only so many times that 'the wheels on the bus' can be sang before you get bored. Babies and toddlers have age-appropriate lullabies and nursery rhymes but there’s nothing for primary children other than mainstream pop which can be a bit cringe-worthy when your child starts singing along to sexual and offensive things. 

Zeamu Music is a new record label that’s been launched specifically for children aged four to 11 by a collective made up of some of the music industry’s hottest producers, musicians and composers. Their mission was to create pop music exclusively for primary school children.

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Zeamu Music has brought out its first CD featuring songs about different things such as bullying, nightmares and even the joy of summer holidays.

The music videos have been created using 13 animated kids called the Zeamus. Each one of the Zeamus represent a different music genre and all the tracks have used school children to sing the songs too.

I think that the songs are perfect for young children as not only do they sound like nowadays pop music, but they have no hidden agenda, no swearing and no explicit lyrics, just lovely music that gets the feet tapping.

Just have a listen to the Zeamu song 'It's the Weekend' which is on YouTube!

With a new CD on the agenda, I know that we will definitely be buying the next album when as it is so child friendly and is original pop music that kids and parents can enjoy together!

There are 14 songs on Zeamu Music CD and it costs £10.99 to purchase, you can also purchase it as a download from Zeamu Music.

how would you like to win a copy of Zeamu Music on CD? Then enter our giveaway below using the Rafflecopter form.

Please remember to check the T&C's at the bottom of the Rafflecopter application and our full terms here. This giveaway is open to the UK only and any entries left that do not follow the mandatory entries will be disqualified. After the one compulsory entry of answering the given question the Rafflecopter will then open a round of optional extras, you do not have to enter any of these but these will give you extra entries into the competition.

And please, if you are commenting on the blog as 'anonymous' can you please write your name in the comment otherwise I cannot count your entry.

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17 August 2013

Project 365 Week 33

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We've had so much fun this week. The Chicken Pox seem to be going now so we have been able to venture out a bit more. 

First of all though we made a yummy cake. Chocolate cake and chocolate butter-cream over it to make it extra special. Thomas loves mixing it up and Charlie loves licking the bowl afterwards.

We went for a lovely walk down the Leeds-Liverpool Canal this week also (you can read our full post here) and has such a nice walk, seeing the locks being used and fishing with our little net. 

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Water bombs galore as the boys tried out throwing into the carpark outside. They were aiming as high as possible to see who could get the biggest splash. 

Having cuddles with Leo the Lion is cute as always and receiving a whole load of Chuggington toys from TOMY means that we will be busy playing for a long time yet.

We ventures out to the big park today. It's a bit of a walk to get to but is worth it in the end. Huge fields and a big park with everything for the boys to play on. 

As we were at the park yesterday, we decided to pick some flowers and let them dry out so we we could get creative with them today. Thomas loves sticking to flowers to paper and making his own little masterpiece. 

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16 August 2013

Walking On Water

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Recently, with the boys having chicken pox, I have been writing posts about what we have been up to and how we have entertained the children without having to go too close to other people so as to not spread the virus. 
This week, I remembered about something that was close to home, right under our noses, yet we had never thought of it before. Walking along the canal. 

We live literally 5 minutes away from the Leeds-Liverpool Canal and it is such a lovely place to go to. I know the boys would love it and so off we toddled. 

Even though I am scared of water, I find that it is very calming (as long as I'm not in it!) and peaceful. Thomas took his net and loved trying to hunt for fishes although we didn't manage to catch any in the end, it was still a lovely day.

We got to watch the narrow-boats floating past us and even get to see the locks being used. They are so fascinating to watch. How well these huge gates have been made and the wisdom from the person who invented them, who would have thought of something like that? 

Mummy Blogging, Yorkshire Blog, Parent Blog, From seeing the beautiful ambience from the water I have decided that I want to go on some sort of cruise/boat holiday some time in the future. To be out on the open sea, relaxing and enjoying the calming affects of the sea but maybe on a big boat which wont give me the creeps. 

I have had a nosey about online, looking for the best destinations to go to whilst sailing around the ocean and have come to the conclusion that I would love to go on a Norwegian Fjords cruise to see the beautiful mountains and valleys in Norway. 

To get to feel the cool breeze whilst watching the world go by. The beautiful scenery and the relaxing sea air will make for a superb holiday away.

I think being on a cruise-liner rather than a smaller boat would probably help with my fears and I think it would have some truly amazing sights on the trip.

What do you think? Would a cruise along somewhere as beautiful as this, help distract away from my fears of the water?

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15 August 2013

Win A Beanies Flavour Co. Coffee Time Hamper

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If you saw my review of the lovely Beanies the Flavour Co which was posted yesterday (you can read it here) you will know that their coffee is all about taste and their unique flavouring process combines flavour with freeze dried coffee ensuring that each cup is flavourful.

The four flavours we were sent were not only full of flavour, but also were so scrummy that I drank way more coffee than usual.

Their most loved flavours are:
Amaretto Flavour
Cinnamon & Hazelnut Flavour
French Vanilla Flavour
Irish Cream Flavour
Rich Hazelnut Flavour
Chocolate Flavour
Creamy Caramel Flavour

How would you like to give Beanies coffee a try for yourself? 

Well you're in luck then because the lovely people from over at the Beanies Flavour Co. have offered us this super Coffee Time Hamper to give away to one of our lucky readers. All you have to do to enter for a chance to win is enter using the Rafflecopter form below. 

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Please remember to check the T&C's at the bottom of the Rafflecopter application and our full terms here. This giveaway is open to the UK only and any entries left that do not follow the mandatory entries will be disqualified. After the one compulsory entry of answering the given question the Rafflecopter will then open a round of optional extras, you do not have to enter any of these but these will give you extra entries into the competition.

And please, if you are commenting on the blog as 'anonymous' can you please write your name in the comment otherwise I cannot count your entry.

14 August 2013

Beanies Flavour Co. Instant Coffee

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I am a lover of coffee. As soon as I wake in the morning, the kettle goes on, I cannot function right without a brew before starting the day. 

Trying different flavours is a must and I have probably tried nearly every coffee brand to see which are the best and which have the nicest flavours. The strength of my favourite coffees does alter depending on how I feel and what time of day it is. Morning, I prefer a more subtle taste but during the long days, especially at the moment with the children being ill, I think drinking a nice, hot cup of coffee can just give me the energy to carry on watching Peppa Pig repeats without wanting to strangle her. 

So when Beanies got in touch, I wanted to try their coffee flavours straight away. They deliver an alternative beverage option. Beanies the Flavour Co is all about taste. they have a unique flavouring process which combines flavour with freeze dried coffee ensuring that each cup is aromatic and flavourful. 

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They have 36 high quality roast and ground flavour coffees but also do 8 different instant jars as well as single serve packs. Since we don't have a coffee machine, I chose 4 of the flavoured instants, Amaretto, Chocolate, Cinnamon & Hazelnut and Caramel were my choices. 

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Just popping the foil cover on the jar was lovely, the scent coming from them was enough to make me dribble and want to try them out straight away. The Amaretto coffee had such a strong scent that I couldn't resist and tried that one first. The aroma of almond filled the air and tempted me in. 

Each jar gives the usually scrummy coffee taste but then accents of other flavours which only make the experience more pleasurable. The Cinnamon & Hazelnut coffee is like a cake in your mouth whilst you are drinking. So moreish, so tasty and easily pleases me. I just can't get enough of them.

Beanies say that their coffee is  'beaming with flavour' and they aren't wrong. It's safe to say that regular coffee just isn't going to cut it any more.

Pop along and give them a like on Facebook or follow them on Twitter for all their latest info and competitions.

You can buy Beanies instant coffee and their wholebean and decaf over on their website here

13 August 2013

My 99p Summer

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Keeping children occupied during the holidays is a hard task. It has become even worse for us though because I assumed that we would try to get out and about everyday, keeping the boys playing and looking at things so that they weren't bored. But that didn't happen. 

Thomas came home from his last day at nursery with Chicken Pox, yes Chicken Pox! The one virus that parents dread and the thing that has stopped us from going anywhere for the past 2 weeks. We couldn't go anywhere. Not to mention the horrible and itchy pain Thomas was in from the spots, but also the fact that they are highly  contagious meant that we have had to stay in and make our own fun. 

Perfect timing then for us to get involved with The 99p Store who were looking for people to write about how they could keep children occupied with £10 worth of stuff from their stores. So off I toddled, down to The 99p Store. What should I buy? It has to be things that can keep the children busy, but also can be used whilst in the vicinity of our home and gardens. 

Well this is our haul. I thought that in this warm weather that we are getting, the best way to keep children cool and also to keep Thomas' spots soothed, is to get water guns and spray bottles. Not only can these be used to have fun around the garden playing water fights but also can be used on the children to cool them down and we use them to shoot the flowers to keep them watered. 

I also chose a little bubble machine. This is shaped like a fish and when the trigger is pulled, it flashes and blows bubbles. It's amazing how much a few bubbles can keep children occupied. 

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Then, the prankster side of me bought water bombs. 300 of them for only 99p! I couldn't resist. You see, my parents only live 3 doors down from us, in the summer my brother sits in the garden with his friends sunbathing and chatting about rubbish. This is the best time to fire a mass of water bombs at them to keep them cool obviously. 

After the toys, I thought the best things to check out would be snacks. We go through a lot of snacks, whether from sitting in the garden or taking them to the parks with us, it's great to have snacks in your picnic basket. I found all the things that Thomas loved, cheesy crackers, popcorn but with a chocolaty twist and jelly beans, perfect to munch on when we wanted a snack. 

Some of the jelly beans were wasted though. We buried them in the garden to try and make a beanstalk. Unfortunately, we don't have one in our garden yet but Thomas keeps watering them as you never know. 

We also bought a pack of juices. It's important to stay hydrated in this hot weather and so I thought that these would be a great idea. 

Not bad to get all this haul with only £10 to spend at The 99p Store. 

- I was sent a £10 voucher to take part in this challenge and all thoughts and experiences are my own honest opinions

12 August 2013

Win A Babymoov Babyni

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If you have been reading out blog lately then you will know that we have reviewed the Babymoov Babyni. (You can read the full review here) but in essence, I love the Babyni because not only is it stylish but it is also practical because it can fold down small and pop-up quickly and easily for instant use. 

A perfect place to lay your sleeping baby or a safe place to let them roll around on outside with the comfy cushioned base, the UV hood and the mosquito netting. 

Would you like the chance to win one? Well you are in luck as the lovely people from Babymoov are giving us one to give away to one of our readers. All you have to do to enter for a chance to win is enter using the Rafflecopter form below. 

Please remember to check the T&C's at the bottom of the Rafflecopter application and our full terms here. This giveaway is open to the UK only and any entries left that do not follow the mandatory entries will be disqualified. After the one compulsory entry of answering the given question the Rafflecopter will then open a round of optional extras, you do not have to enter any of these but these will give you extra entries into the competition.

And please, if you are commenting on the blog as 'anonymous' can you please write your name in the comment otherwise I cannot count your entry.

Losing The Mummy Tummy

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Hiding under baggy tops
It has dawned on me just recently that Charlie will be turning 2 year old next month and so I can now no longer say I have a 'mummy tummy', I will now just be 'fat', yes F A T!!! And flabby.

I hate it, I hate looking at my body and being disgusted. Not wanting to show my body because it has stretch marks or is loose around the waist from carrying my children for 9 (well 9 and a half in fact) month. Being jealous at other parents who seem to have got their nice figures back and don't have stretch marks. How dare they rub it in my face wearing bikinis in the swimming baths when I hate even wearing a tankini in case it rides up and shows my horrible body. 

As you have probably noticed, I am very self-concious about myself. I have such low self-esteem at the moment and have finally realised that if I want to feel better about myself, then I must change my ways. 

There are ways to lose weight and tone up over long periods of time and quick fixes too. I have been thinking about all of the options and am undecided.

1. Healthy Eating
Now, I can do this any time. I actually do try to eat as healthily as possible. OK, I do like my chocolate but I always think that as long as you are eating veg and a lot of good produce, then a treat every now and then is fine. 
I don't really know whether this would work though for me personally. I'm not actually fat like overweight but have excess skin from my pregnancies which causes me to look bigger than I am. I don't think eating healthily and loosing weight that way would actually help me to tone up and the skin to shrink back to normal size. 

2. Going to the Gym
The second option again is doable and I don't mind going to the gym but the problem would be childcare. Going to the gym is a commitment to actually going enough to make a difference and although both boys will be at school in September (Thomas starts full time and Charlie will be half days at pre-school) it would mean taking up all my spare time getting out and doing it.
I actually don't mind exercising though. I would love to be able to have the time to go to the gym a few times a week and do some running or cardio exercises (treadmills look fun too) but would hate going on my own and so would need to convince Simon to come too. 

3. Medical Treatments
The third option is to have some sort of treatment, cosmetic or surgical, to fix the problematic areas I have. It is very easy for people to say that it's a cop out to get surgery and that you should do it yourself without medical treatment, but it's hard when you've constantly got yourself, your inner thoughts, telling you to loose weight fatty. 
If I had the money, I would have something done in a flash. To be honest, I don't really know what though. Maybe skin tightening treatments would help me to lose a bit of the excess skin around my neck and face but for my tummy, where most of my excess skin is, I would need something like a tummy tuck but to be honest, I don't really know and would need a consultation before deciding further. 

All these thoughts are running through my head and it is so hard to decide which way to go. Which option is the best, I really don't know. Eating healthier wont really help rid the excess skin but going to the gym or medical treatments will. These are both opposite ends of the spectrum though, going to the gym would take a lot of time but maybe I would feel proud of myself for dong it whereas medical treatment can happen quickly and mean I get back to a happier me quickly. 

All I want is to look better, not have all the saggy skin and to tone my body so I feel comfortable in my own skin. Is that so much to ask?

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10 August 2013

Project 365 Week 31/32

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I'm behind again, nothing new there though. I always seem behind at the moment!
We start off our week with a lovely photo of the boys having a tender moment. Charlie has been looking after Thomas whilst he has been getting over Chicken Pox and keeping cuddling him.

To keep the boys cool, we bought some water bombs and they have fun throwing them around the garden or at each other or at me even.

Charlie seems to be getting quite independent now so when I had to pop out, I decided not to take the pram and let him toddle with me instead. He loved being out of the pram and getting to sit on the big bus seats on his own. 

I always think photos of children sleeping are so sweet (and peaceful, don't forget peaceful haha) so thought I'd show a tender moment of Charlie getting some zzz's with Thomas' big teddy. 

We need fresh air and so decided to go down to the reservoir to feed the ducks. It's always quiet down there s we knew that it would be okay to go to whilst Chicken Pox was around. The birds were extra hungry and we fed them a whole loaf of bread. 

Another rare sight. Me on a night out! On the left is my friend, Krystal and on the right is my sister, Kelly. I am, of course, in the centre. I didn't even have a choice about going out. Simon basically told me that I was going and to get myself ready. He knows that even mummies need a break every now and then.

Today we had a chilling day and baked a cake instead of going anywhere. Thomas loves helping me in the kitchen and got stuck into mixing the cake ingredients and the cream to go inside. It was so yummy too.

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The next week started off with outdoor play and looking cute in mummies sunglasses. 

Followed by Charlie helping us do the cooking and hoovering. He loves to help and is forever nicking off with the vacuum. 

The boys deserve a nice treat from the ice cream van every now and then and they both get to choose their own. Of course, little tubs Charlie, wanted an ice cream but Thomas always goes for a slushie.

To try and keep the boys occupied, we had a bbq today (you can read about it here). It was nice to have a fun day but not have to go anywhere. Also, we used disposable plates and tins so no washing up either... result!

I can't believe it! Our story that we wrote (story Dreaming Of Captain Redbeard) has now been made into part of a children's bedtime story book. I am so proud that we have a keepsake like this to keep forever. 

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