Saturday, 29 April 2017

Mummy and Me - April 2017

I think about a year ago a similar thing to this happened only Lily was a year younger. I think I resulted with 1 sticker on my face and well this time Lily is much better with stickers and can remove them from a sheet of stickers herself. So this time I ended up with almost the entire alphabet in sticker form on my face. I do love these photographs showing me not to pleased but to tired to stop her and the evil little grins and laughs that Lily is giving in the photographs. 

Definetly a fun mummy and me moment from this month. 

Thursday, 27 April 2017

BRIO My First Take Along Train Set Review

One of Lily's favourite things are trains. She gets so excited when we get to go on one and she loves playing with them. 

We have known about BRIO and their trains and train tracks for quite a while now. So when we got the opportunity to review the My First Take Along Train Set we were totally onboard! 

As soon as Lily received it she saw that there were trains on the front and wanted to play with it straight away.

The BRIO my first take along set is aimed at children 18 months plus and is the perfect first train set for any child. It comes in this special carry case which is also part of the train track itself. When you open it up, inside there are 6 more pieces which complete the set. 

These include - 
  • 1 Train
  • 1 Train Carriage
  • 2 sloped tracks
  • 2 track ends

The pieces are so easy to put toggether and a young child should easily be able to place the 2 pieces of track down with the ends. The quality of the wooden tracks are great with a nice strong thickness to them and a lovely smooth finish. I also love the bright colours that have been chosen for the track. It is great to see them in greens, reds and yellows to have a non gender specific feel to the toy. Train tracks are definitely just as much for girls as they are boys. 

The track is really basic when put together but just enough for a child of 18 months. The great thing about this set is that when you start to extend your BRIO train collection this set is adaptable with other sets and you can make your track bigger. 

Lily really enjoyed pushing the trains up the train and then letting them roll down the sloped track. You could tell she was getting really involved in her play as she started shouting out "Choo Choo" as she was playing. 

The train and its carriage are attached by magnets and are quite easy to attach together. But what Lily did struggle with is putting both trains on the train at once if she placed them on the green curved part of the track. This would get her frustrated and she would start shouting "oh no" when it wasn't on properly. So I did encourage Lily to try and get the train onto the track by using the red end connection of the track. The carriage of the train comes with a bell inside which makes a great noise as the train goes along the track. This is great for sensory development for a child. 

When we were finished playing with the train, Lily tidied up herself and placed all the pieces back into the enclosed section of the set. She could easily shut it and then picked it up to carry it around. There is plenty of space inside the set and I would say that if you were to have more trains or track pieces they could also be put inside. Its really light for Lily to carry around and this is going to be a great toy to take when visiting family. 

The BRIO My First Take Along Train Set is £29.99 and can be bought here on the BRIO website

Do your children like trains? Have the ever tried trains from BRIO? 

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

#NationalStationeryWeek - Fun with Stamp Marker Pens

Its National Stationary Week this week and so couldn't let it go by without introducing Lily to some new stationery. 

Lily has lots of different pens, pencils, felt tips and crayons and so I wanted something different. This is when I came across these stamp marker pens. Lily hasn't really used stamp pens before and so using them would be a new concept to her that instead of sliding the pen across the paper to make a mark she would have to stamp the pen down. 

The pens all came with a variety of colours and shapes. Most of which Lily could easily recognise. She was really excited to see a sunshine, a star and an apple. Other shapes included are a heart, arrow, smiley face, flower and moon. The pens are also really nice and chunky for little hands like Lily's. Some shapes did seem to stamp better than others. I think the sunshine did the best job. 

Lily really enjoyed playing with these stamps. It did keep her quiet and she made 3 or 4 pictures out of them. Using them as a normal marker at first to create shapes and then stamping down the pen to make the stamp. At first she didn't understand that you had to press down to make a stamp but as soon as I showed her she picked it up straight away and was doing a great job. Here she is making her pictures. 

Lily loved these so much that I thought I would offer my readers a chance to win a pack. So i'm giving away 3 packs, one on each social media platform. So head to my twitter, instagram and facebook page for your chance to win. 

I would love to see your children's drawings so when you enter the competition feel free to share them with me so then I can RT them and share them with others. Don't forget the hashtag #NatStatWeek 

Ends Monday at 9am. 

Click the links below to enter - 

Good luck.

What have your children been using for #NationalStationaryWeek? 

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Win 2 Tickets to The Babyshow

Im so excited so say its that time again. The time of the brilliant Baby Show. I usually visit the London one but due to my recent move up North Im going to be giving the Birmingham show a try. 

I always love reporting back on all the wonderful companies I meet at the Baby Show. Seeing my favourite companies new products and also having a little shop of my own. 

You can read about my last 2 visits to The Baby show here and here

Get ready to enjoy a fantastic shopping experience at the UK’s leading pregnancy and parenting event of the year. The Baby Show with MadeForMums will be taking place from Friday 19th to Sunday 21st May, at the NEC Birmingham. Find everything you need for bump, baby and you - with amazing offers all in one place, for three days only! 

The show is a great way to get hands on and try before you buy. Brand and product experts will be on hand to tell you everything you need to know, so it’s a great opportunity to compare products and find the right fit for you. There will be over 200 exhibitors showcasing a huge array of essential baby products from trusted brands as well as the latest innovations. All the major baby retailers will be there, alongside market leading brands such as iCandy, Stokke, UppaBaby, Chicco, Britax, MAM, Nuby, Mothercare and Italian brand Peg Perego! There will also be independent brands that you won’t find on the high street. And once you’ve shopped until you’ve dropped, don’t worry about all the carrying as you can take advantage of the free Emma’s Diary Collect-By-Car service where you can drop off all your purchases and continue until you’ve got a car full. 

There will be a wonderful line up of speakers on The Baby Show Stage with MadeForMums including experts from the world of breastfeeding, sleep and nutrition! 

It really is a must-attend show for mums and dads to be, parents, friends and family members.   

We’ve team up with The Baby Show to give away 1 pair of tickets worth £20 each! Enter on the Gleam app below. 

The Baby Show is taking place on Friday 19th May – Sunday 21st May inclusive, open from 9.30am to 5pm each day.  Standard on the door tickets are £20.  For more information please visit

Win 2 Tickets to The Baby Show

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Choosing the Right Nursery

Its always such a big step for a child to be starting nursery. Its a big step for them, and just as much of a big step for us to. If you are anything like me then your child has probably been with you every day until now, maybe with one or 2 exceptions when they visit grandparents. So for suddenly you to be sending them to somewhere where they are without you. It can be quite a big deal.

Not only are you not with them, to take care of their needs and make sure they are safe. You are sending them to somewhere where you don't really know the people who will be looking after them and so of corse you wonder will they be okay? What if my child's needs aren't understood? What if they spend the entire day crying?

But at some point there is going to be a time where you are just going to have to bite the bullet and send your child to a nursery. So best thing you can do is make sure they go to the right nursery.

So today I registered Lily to a local Nursery and even though I have Nursery Experience and know Lily will be fine I still have my nervous thoughts about it all. What has made it much better for me is that I made sure when I visited the nursery I knew all I had to know to make sure that Lily will be going to the right nursery for her. 

So here is a guide of things that I think you should look out for when visiting and questions I think are important you ask. 

Things to Look Out For

The first thing to look for when you are entering a nursery is security. Do they have a locked gate with camera or voice security? To exit the nursery do they have high buttons up on walls so children can't escape?

When you enter the Nursery take a look around. Do they have photographs of the staff on the walls? What about children's work? I like to see nurseries with lots on the walls. Do they seem recent? EG Not Christmas pictures at Easter. Not only does it mean that the nursery does some great activities with the children but they also help children recognise achievement and it is important to them to keep what the children see up on the walls fresh and new.

Do children have access to resources and toys through out the day? Can they help them selves to them? I always think that its important that they can choose what they want to play with and have access to things like books and drawing though out the day.

Are the staff interacting with the children? Look to see how much enthusiasm the staff have with the children. Are they smiling? This is a really important one for me.

Do the other children look happy? Are they running around the room like crazy or are they behaving/playing with toys. If the children are running around rather than playing, thats a sign that they are bored. 

Is the place a little messy? Its actually a good thing for it to be a little messy. It means the children have been playing and instead of the staff making sure that every single inch of sand is up off the floor 24/7 they are playing with the children instead.

It really isn't a bad thing to take in every detail but also don't fuss over the little things to much. It really isn't a big deal that the staff are in every day clothes rather than a uniform. In my opinion it means they focus on more important things. 

Questions to Ask

When choosing the right nursery it is important you ask as many questions as you can. Having nursery experience I knew all the questions to ask and asked a lot. But here are some that I think are quite important that you make sure you know.

What is the security for people picking the children up? An acceptable answer would be that they have passwords and photographs of people that are aloud to pick the children up.

Is there water available for children to drink at all times? 

Do all the children get outdoor time at least once a day? Surprisingly I have worked in nurseries that didn't give every child outdoor time. 

Does my child have a Key Worker? I was really happy at the Nursery that Lily is going to be attending that she gets 2 key workers.

Does your child get a folder of work that you get to see? I really like this aspect of nurseries and would be disappointed if they didn't.

Its really important that your child spends most their time having fun at nursery, but also important that they are learning and the nursery is sticking to the EYFS ( Early Years Foundation Stage). If they don't mention this to do then definetly ask. Its something your nursery should know all about.

Ask about sleep and meal times. Make sure that they get snacks and have somewhere to sleep if they are there for a full day. 

Will there be a settling in process? Most nurseries do now offer this, you can also ask if you are aloud more if your child doesn't settle fast.

Before asking all these questions you will hopefully get told most things like what resources they have and routines so I have tried to focus on things they may not have mentioned. The person answering your questions should have an immediate answer about everything you ask, which for me really gives me confidence that they are truthful and know what they are talking about.

Of corse you may have other things you need to ask which are for the individual needs of your child and all nurseries are different and some more than others but I hope that I have given you a few things that may help when choosing the right nursery for your child. 

I will let you know how Lily gets on with the nursery we have placed her in soon.

What questions would you ask when visiting a nursery? 

Monday, 17 April 2017

Our Easter Egg Hunt 2017

This year at Easter we are away visiting Family. Although i'm sure we will be doing plenty of easter egg hunts at Easter I wanted to do an early one for Lily at Home. But typically on the day that I choose to do the hunt on it decides to rain. Not all hope was lost. I knew that if at least I could get a break from the rain we could go into our small front garden and do a little egg hunt. Luckily that was the case and at around 3pm the rain stopped. 

I went out and hid 6 little eggs with bunnies so Lily could easily find them. It was as much of a bunny hunt as Easter egg hunt. I hid them in the plants and the bushes and in a few easy places like our windowsil where Lily would easily find them. On went the welly boots, on went our coats and Easter baskets in hand out we went! Lily was very excited. 

Lily did really well at spotting the bunnies. She first found the one in the flower pot. But she wasn't to keen on the idea of pulling it out as the weeds growing in it were very wet. So mummy had to get it out for her. The second one she spotted was up in the bushes, which again she didn't want to reach out as didn't want wet hands. She is a little bit of a softie when it comes to things like getting wet. 

She was super excited to have found some and so when I handed her the eggs she put them in her basket. She then said more eggs and so I encouraged her to look for more bunnies. Eventually she found one down in some plants and then on the windowsil. It wasn't long before Lily had all her eggs in her basket and was so excited at how many she had found.

The egg hunt didn't last long. 10 minutes at the most but she loved every second of it. We then went inside and I let her eat one of her eggs. It just shows that you have got to make the most of what you have got and any little activity can be fun. 

Did you do an Easter egg hunt? 

Country Kids