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

Tips for 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.

What about coat hooks? It is really important for a child to feel like they belong and a coat hook with there name on is a great way of helping them belong. Even better if that name tag has the child's picture on.

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.

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

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Our Easter Chocolate Nests

Lily is at a lovely age this year for us to be able to make chocolate nests. So last week we decided we would make some for the Easter week ahead. (not that they would last a week) haha

I know that you all know how to make crispy cakes and so this is not a baking tutorial but more just me sharing Lily's first experience with making them. 

We got Lily's table and placed it in the kitchen. Then popped her baking apron on. She was super excited and sat down so nicely waiting for us to start. 

The first thing I did was let Lily help me put the chocolate into a bowl. I broke it all up into pieces and then she put them all into the bowl for me. She did this very successfully without any pieces of chocolate going missing. 

Next job she had to sit and wait for me to do, which was melting the chocolate. I did this over the pan rather than in the microwave. I think it melts better and I do prefer to teach Lily to do things without taking shortcuts. After it was melted I poured it into a bowl for Lily to to be able mix in the corn flakes. 

I gave Lily the corn flakes and she started putting then in. I did have to help her as she was putting in one at a time and so we would have been at it for years at that rate. So I put in a couple of hand full's of corn flakes so she could start mixing. Her favourite thing to do. 

So after Lily gave them a good mix and mummy gave them an extra mix to make sure they were all covered. We put a spoon full into a bun case. Lily's next job was the most important of all. Putting the Mini Egg on top. She really enjoyed doing this part and understood she only put one egg on each cake. 

We then popped them in the fridge and I started to clean up. Lily seems to know how to do that part...only instead of her cleaning the bowl with the sponge she decided to use her fingers and tongue and create another mess to clean up. All part of the fun though and got a great smiley photograph from her. 

Later that day we took them out the fridge and they were ready to eat! I must admit, I ate 3 of them in a day. But its Easter right? So i'm aloud. This was such an easy activity to do with Lily and I cant wait to make some more with her. She is always so impressed when we eat them knowing that she helped make them. 

So who else made Chocolate nests for Easter?

Friday, 14 April 2017

Tactic Games Secret Life of Pets Giant Domino Game

Lily loves playing games and so when I got offered to review The secret Life of Pets Domino game from Tactic Games I just had to say a big YES. 

Although this game is recommended for children aged 3+ I just knew that Lily would get the concept of the game and with my help to be able to play it. 

Lily could not wait to get this game out and as soon as it arrived she was bringing it to me to play with. So I cleared a nice big space in the living room, sat down and got it out for her. 

The game looked great as I opened the box. The characters on them are so colourful and animated and the pieces are such a good size for Lily to be able to see the animals clearly on. The dominoes are made from a really nice thick card to which is great as a child should be not be able to bend them easily. Lily has always been quite gentle with her toys though so its not some thing I have had to worry about. The back of the cards also have a great pattern on them which was nice to see instead of them being plane. 

Inside is 32 Giant Dominoes and some rules. In total the Dominoes make up to 6 metres of tiles. The setting up and playing of the game is really easy. You shuffle the dominoes and each player gets 4 tiles each to start with. The rest of the dominoes are kept in a pile face down. The youngest player starts the game and puts down a domino. As they do, they pick up another from the pile. Then the next player has to match either end of the domino from one in there selection of 4. If they don't have a matching domino, they need to pick up from the pile and if that one they have picked up matches then they can play it, If not then it goes to their 4 to make 5. If they do already have a matching domino then they put the domino down next to the match they have made. They then pick up another domino making them have 4 dominoes again. The game carries on until the first player has no more dominoes left. A tie is possible where players each have a domino they can't play. 
There are also special dominoes with a group of pets on. This domino can be placed next to any domino meaning you don't have to pick up a card.

So how did Lily get on with the game? I had expected Lily to be able to understand this game and play but she did much better than my expectations and played the game really well. She understood the matching of the cards, understood when she had to pick another card up and also took turns really well. Lily played the game to the end and we ended up having a tie. She loved playing so much that she wanted to play all over again. It wasn't until the 3rd game that she got a little bored and we decided to end it there and put it away. For a 2 year old she did really well. 

We really enjoyed playing this game. Even I could happily play this game over and over again. The game is so good for helping your little ones concentrate and also help their matching skills. Its also really good for their hand and eye co-ordination having to get the domino next to the other one. There were time when I had to help Lily with getting it straight next to the other domino so this will be great practice for her.

I would really recommend this game for your child. Especially if they are a big fan of The Secret Life of pets as I think the pictures on the dominoes are great. 

The game is £12.99 and can be bought from the Tactic Games website. 

Who would you play this game with? 

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Mid Month More About me - April - Hand Cream

Each month i'm going to write a short post which is a little bit more about me. I might write about hobbies, favourite things, things I hate, places I love. But each month it will be a post where my readers can find out a little more about the person behind the blog.

This month its going to be about a thing I love. Actually I think you could call this thing I love something of an obsession. 

I am totally and utterly in love and obsessed with.... 

Hand Cream. 

Wow bet you thought it was going to be something really exciting then. But nope, simple hand cream is enough for me to get super excited over. Though is it really that simple. No! Did you know you can buy sooooooo many different makes of hand creams that all have different after feelings on your hands and all smell compleatly different with tons of different scents available. Well if you didn't then i'm about to enlighten you about hand creams. 

Here is my collection. Do you think I have enough? Anyone would think that I had more than two hands with the amount I own.

So thats 16 tubes of hand cream just for one person. But I just love the stuff and I just can't resist buying new makes and I truly love a bargain and so cant resist buying any I see a sale sign on. 

But I will say, I do use it a lot. In fact I can't cope with out it anymore. I HATE my hands feeling dry and each time I wash my hands, or even get them wet I have to then put hand cream on. So if you know what its like being a mummy and constantly cleaning up after a little one you will know your hands constantly get wet. Washing their hands, their dishes, their paint pots and lately been rinsing out her potty at least 10 times a day. So the hand creams are definetly getting their use. Sometimes I actually start to run Lily a bath, I initially feel the temperature of the bath water. Then leave it running. I straight away after drying my hands apply hand cream. Then 5 minutes later, I test the water and mix it up with my hands, dry my hands and again on goes the hand cream. Then of corse I have to bath Lily. My hands are constantly in the water for a good 15 to 20 minutes and then after I can barely touch her towel because my hands feel dry. So after drying her. On goes the hand cream again. 

I have hand cream by my computer desk, hand cream in the bathroom, hand cream by the kitchen sink, hand cream in my baby bag. I really don't go anywhere without it and the times I have forgot it i've snook into a Bodyshop and borrowed some of there tester cream. So yes. Obsessed much??? 

I haven't yet used all the hand creams above. As you can see there is 2 unopened packs of Crabtree and Evelyn. The Seascape box is unopened yet and I haven't used the Baylis and Harding creams yet. So Im going to tell you about the ones I have tried incase maybe you would like to try them yourself. 

First up is my favourite as you may be able to tell from the amount of use its had. The BodyShop. Even though I have all this hand cream I always make sure I have at least 1 tube from the body shop. Out of all the hand creams this one leaves my hands feeling the most nourished, fresh and not at all dry. Not only that but it only takes the tinniest bit of cream to have your hands feel amazing in minutes. Then it also soaks in really quickly. There are a few different scents that BodyShop do. My favourite is the almond hand cream. But as you can see from the photograph I have compleatly run out of that. I only have one point that I would make about these creams and that is how they changed there lids on the tubes from a flip top to a screw top. When your hands are covered in hand cream it makes life a lot harder to screw a fiddly lid back on that knock it closed with your palm. Im currently using the Wild Rose hand cream which is in my bedroom and used when i'm not in a rush and the small plum tube is in my baby bag for on the go. I would 100% recommend you try the Body Shops hand creams if you haven't already. 

Next up is Grace and Cole. This one is kept in my bathroom and so gets a lot of use after washing hands. Its pump on the top makes it so easy to apply cream and go and so as this is the time I use it the most. Sometimes with this cream I do have to apply more after using it. It all depends on how dry my hands are feeling at the time to if I needed more. The best thing about this hand cream is the smell. Oh I do love the scent of Grapefruit, Lime and Mint that it leaves on my hands after. Its really good value for its money at only £6 for 500ml and its really lasting me a while. 

Next is the Crabtree and Evelyn Hand Cream. This comes very close to being as good as the BodyShop. My hands feel great with only a small amount of hand cream on it and you only need to use it once and your hands feel perfect. It also soaks in really nicely. They do some really great scents of this cream though so far I have only tried the citron, honey and coriander and it is amazing. I keep smelling my hands after to get the scent of it. I am glad I love the smell as I have 3 tubes of it to go through. Again as much as a screw lid looks great, it can be really fiddly to put back on after you have used the hand cream and I wish it was a flip lid. 

Last but not least is the Soap and Glory hand cream. This I got bought as a gift and I will admit It wouldn't normally be something I would go for as the title of Soap and Glory doesn't appeal to me and also its girly pink appearance doesn't make me want to buy it. But upon using it I actually like it. The scent is really nice and it definitely does the job I need it to. I also like that it has a flip lid so its easy to use. This is the hand cream I actually used most recently, about an hour ago to be exact and the scent really does stay on your hands for a while which is nice but also it does leave a feeling to your hands. A slight over smoothness feeling, which to some people they may like but for me I quite like my hands feeling a little more normal. I guess people wouldn't think that there is such thing as to smooth but in this case I feel there is. Non the less I use this quite often and have it sat by my computer desk right now. 

I really can't wait to try the rest and also maybe discover some other hands creams I may like. There have been some in the past I've felt are sticky, and some that I have disliked the smell. So I don't like all hand creams..... just most of them haha. 

Could you recommend a hand cream I may like?

Have you tried any of the above?