Friday 30 June 2017

Mummy and Me - June

Is it just me or has June gone really fast? It doesn't feel 2 moments since I was writing my last mummy and me post. So June really has gone a blurr for me. I have just had to look through my photographs to see what we got up to and what photographs I got of me and Lily this month. As usual there isn't loads. 
So I have 3 pictures for you. The first is from a lovely sunny day we had and we went to a fair around the corner from my house in the park. Lily spotted the duck game and so I hooked her a duck for a prize. The second is from a night out the other night. Lily's first party. It was a wedding reception and although it was way past Lily's bedtime she loved it. Here she is screaming PARTY!!!! The final pic is a selfie of a usual weekday evening. Lily starts to get tired and I start to try to blog. She won't play, wont watch Tv and all she wants to do is lay on my knee. She usually brings me her blanket and climbs up. Many posts I have written she she is curled up on my knee. As annoying and hard work as it is at the time, I can't resist that cheeky face and always let her up for a cuddle. 

Going on holiday next month. Hopefully that will make for some good mummy and me photographs.

Nicola... Life Through My Eyes

Thursday 29 June 2017

The Krafty Cow Tea Rooms Burnley

I first stumbled across this cafe on facebook and thought that it looked like a great place to take Lily. There aren't many places to take children in the town centre and so when I found out that the Krafty Cow tea rooms was child friendly it was definetly going to be the place I popped for my cups of tea from now on. 

I firstly nipped in to find out a little more about what the cafe is all about. I was super impressed to find out that they had loads of toys for Lily to play with, that they had a play group and that they also did plenty of crafts with the kids. I walked out with a leaflet which headlines "FANCY A BREW & CAKE? GOT THE KIDS? NO PROBS!" and so planned to head back the next day with Lily.

I love everything about this cafe which is fairly new to the town centre. As you walk in your welcomed by the lovely owner, who greets you and your children with a smile. You can take a seat by the tables where there is drawing and colouring for your child to do. Or get comfy on the snug couches with many colourful and fun pillows thrown on it. There is a tiny pillow on the couch and so far each time we have been in, Lily has grabbed this pillow and said "my pillow". 

After having made your choice of the many wonderful cakes and drinks, you sit back and the first thing you will notice is the amazing decor of the place. Colourful, exciting, charming, fun and full of character there is so much to see from every wall to the weird and wonderful things hanging from the ceiling. If you are amazed as an adult, then a baby is bound to spend hours looking around the room at all the different colours, contrasts and shapes. The room is also full of crafts, from things you can buy to the art work the children have created at the Krafty Cow. The randomness of the things placed around the room really make me feel at home here, it has a great feel of a place that is somewhere for everyone to feel welcome. 

One more plus point to it all is that there is places that Lily can go and play. I really did feel like I could sit back and not worry about Lily causing trouble, or being bored. She has choices of drawing at the tables, a chalk board, play dough, and plenty of toys and books. 

Our first visit was brilliant and I just knew I had to come back. So I planned to bring Lily to the playgroup that they do here. 

Play group is on Thursday mornings from 11am until 1pm. Its free to come in and let your children play while you enjoy a drink and have a natter with other mums. There is also a matt put down with baby toys for the younger visitors to play group. When we arrived to play group, Lily decided she wanted to play with the baby toys first. She just loves babies and was quite happy to be around them. She then decided to spend the rest of her time mostly playing with the play dough. Its great that there is a table she can sit up to and play at while in the meantime I can enjoy a nice beverage.

Talking of beverages. The choice at the Krafty cow is amazing. You could settle with a nice cup of tea which are served in dainty little tea cups, and maybe a nice lemon drizzle cake to join it. Or you could go all out and have some rainbow cake or one of the amazing and creative cupcakes they have to offer. Cakes always vary at the Krafty Cow but there will always be something exciting on offer. 

This time at play group they had the amazing rainbow cake and the cupcakes. They were just so cute and looked so sweet, but at the same time such a naughty mummy treat! I resisted a slice of cake this time but instead let Lily have a chocolate brownie. I was going to share with her but she pretty much devoured it all. I actually can't believe she ate so much of it. Healthy eating totally went out of the window here.

There isn't just cakes on offer though. You can sit down and eat a yummy panini or sandwich and there are also child sized picnics with sandwiches, raisins, a biscuit and a drink.

This time at the Krafty Cow, I also didn't stick to my normal drink of tea. I decided that I just had to try one of there Unicorn milk shakes. Whats one of those I hear you ask? Well they are the most magical, sugary, sweet, sparkly milkshakes in existence. They cost £4 and most definetly NOT JUST for the children. Although they would also be amazed at them. 

The Unicorn Milkshake consists of - 
- A flavour of milkshake, EG strawberry, mint, chocolate. 
- A layer of blueberry of strawberry sauce at the bottom
- A layer of cream on the top
- Sprinkled with star candies and edible glitter and more blueberry sauce on the top and down the glass
- Unicorn ears and horn made from icing. 
- A side of candyfloss and rainbow drops. 

It is simply amazing. The best milkshake I have ever seen and I was so happy to get to try it. I had a mint milkshake and it was so delicious. I think the sugar is totally the reason i'm still wide awake even now. Just take a look at this magnificent drink!

So after gaining my sugar rush for the day. We decided we would head home. We will definetly be back though and I plan to make play group a regular thing now.

There is a few more things I want to mention about the Krafty Cow. Its not called the KRAFTY cow for nothing. The cafe really does support crafts and so it holds special craft nights for parents and children to come and enjoy. The most recent was designing your own Unicorn. (Can you see the unicorn theme here)??

The night was held last week and children came and got to get creative and get hands on designing and making there own unicorn. I went along to take a few photographs and see what the craft classes were all about.

There was a huge table of all sorts for the children to use on there unicorn and there was help and encouragement from the cafe owner towards the children making them. It looked great fun and the children came out with some wonderful results.

The classes vary and to attend them you need to book and pay in advance. The Unicorn design class was £12 a child. You can keep track of what events are happening on the facebook page. 

There is always something going on at Krafty Cows and not just for children. Here are a few more things they do during the week. 

Tuesday - Knit and Natter - 12-2pm 
Wednesday - Group with Pauline who does crafts and knitting. Card making is every last wednesday of the month. 
Friday - Coffee Club 10am-12, a place to socialise and meet people
Sunday - Free Painting and Sticking for kids! From 12pm. 

The tea room is open from Tuesday to Sunday and is on 16 Boot Way in the Burnley town centre. 

Head to the Krafty Cow Facebook page now to find out more. 

We can't wait for our next visit! 

Wednesday 28 June 2017

Book Based Activities - Painting Pebbles

We love our books so much that I have decided we are going to do a monthly activity where we do something that has been inspired by the books we have been reading. 

This month we have been reading a great selection of books and you will be able to hear all about them in my next monthly book round up. We have chosen one of the stories we have been reading to do our activity. 

The book we have chosen is called Peters Pebbles. I will be writing more details about the story in my monthly book round up but the main story line is that he collects pebbles and then paints them into animals. Magically the pebbles come to life and turn into real animals.

Lily loves collecting pebbles and so we already had a great collection of them stashed away. I got them out so then we could paint our own pebbles into animals.

I read the story to Lily again, and then we had a good look at the animals in the book that peter had painted. I got out the paints, and paintbrushes and we were ready to paint. 

Lily decided she wanted to make a giraffe first. So I asked her what colour the giraffe was and she said yellow. I found her the pebble that was most giraffe like. (unfortunately most our pebbles were really round) and then got Lily to find me the yellow paint. She then painted the pebble untill the side was fully yellow. We then put it to dry. Then she decided she wanted to do an elephant. We chose the biggest pebble for this one. She found the colour blue and painted that pebble blue. 

Lily also chose to make a crocodile, a fish and a monkey. After she had painted them all we left them to dry and went and played somewhere else.

It didn't take too long to dry and they looked great. We needed to do the next part of the painting which was the giving them faces and putting the details on them. We first looked at the giraffe and I asked her what colour the giraffes splodges was. She said brown and so she gave the giraffe some brown splodges. 

We gave the crocodile some zig zags on its back, we gave the fish a stripe, and the elephant a face and tail. We did a yellow circle on the monkey for his face and gave him little paws and feet. 

We then left them to dry one final time. Not long later they were finished!! My favourite has to be the monkey. I think she has done a really good job with that one. 

Of corse Lily is only 2 years old so these aren't decorated perfectly and this activity you could do with any age. You could also go out and first hunt the perfect shaped pebbles for your animals. 
Lily really enjoyed this activity and its one we will have to do in the future after we have collected some more pebbles ourselves. 

Would you try this activity? What animals would you little one love to paint? 

Tuesday 27 June 2017

Taste N Tell Book Review and Giveaway

I have been following the progress of this very special book since I first spotted it at The Baby Show. When I first met the founders of the book they mostly had the idea and a mock up book. Even at this stage I was impressed. This time when I went back to The Baby Show they had them ready to sell and so they gave me one to review. 

So, What is Taste N Tell all about? 

Taste n Tell is all about promoting healthy foods and healthy eating through reading and learning. Its all about making food fun and interesting while encouraging even the fussiest of eaters to want to sample new foods. 

The book we were given to review is the 12months+ book for discovering fruit. As you can see from the image, the box is so nice and colourful and really stands out as a quality product.

Inside the box there is the book, and a reward chart with stickers. Also a little booklet which tells you about your book and how to care for it.

The book itself is really good. The idea to is that you have a little pot where you can place pieces of fruit chopped up. Each book has a special character who takes you on a food learning journey and for the fruit book it is Holly Honeybee. 
As you turn each page it shows you a different fruit. It shows you a photograph of the fruit whole, a photograph of where the fruit comes from and a photograph of it chopped up. It then has a little rhyme to read to encourage the children to open up the pot and see what is inside. The pages are all made of hardboard and can be easily wiped down, and the little pot pops out of the book so it can be filled with the fruit and also easily washed.

I think that the characters of the book are great. Really child friendly and really colourful. Also the wording of the book is also really colourful with the colour relating to the colour of the fruit. Its also written in a font that makes it easy for the children to be able to read the words.

The great thing about the book is how much it promotes reading, learning and communication. I feel a lot of fussy eaters may be fussy about what they are eating as they don't know what it is. This book really helps show children that its a fruit, and just like the other fruits they like, its natural and comes from things like tree's.

The little booklet suggests that you start with a fruit that they are familiar with and that they like. This is so then they can start to get a feel for the way the book works and start to build up excitement around it. So for Lily, I started with Apple. I chopped up the apple into little pieces and placed it into the tub. I then brought the book to Lily and let opened the page to the apple. She straight away knew what fruit it was from the photographs and was very excited to open up the tub. Which she did to find her apple. I then told her about the apple and pointed to the pictures telling her that apples grow on tree's. Lily ate all her apple as usual.

I also tried Lily with some strawberries as she loves them. There isn't a part in the book about strawberries but I still used the pot so she still had the excitement of opening it with the surprise fruit inside. 

As Lily tried 2 fruits, she got to put 2 stickers on the chart. The chart has lots of space and lots of stickers, all with holly honey bee on.

After you have finished with the book, you can slide out of the hard plastic base at the back and let it be washed along with the fruit tub. This is the best way to keep your book nice and hygienic. 

After using the book with fruits that I knew she loved. It was time to try some that she usually didn't like, or hadden't tried yet. There were plenty of fruits she hadden't tried inside. Cherries, Apricots, Dates, Avocado, and Figs. So I decided to try Lily with Apricot and Cherries. As usual Lily was really excited that the book was coming out. I opened up the page to apricot and we read the little rhyme and then she opened the tub. Lily was really impressed with what she found inside and after I told her what the fruit was and where it came from, she grabbed it to try some straight away. Unfortunately Lily decided she didn't like the apricot and wouldn't eat any more than a bite. I was still happy that Lily tried it though.

I then tried cherries. We did the same with the rhyme and me telling her what fruit it was, but this time Lily wouldn't even try the cherry. I think that maybe she wasn't sure she would like them because she didn't like the apricot. Or it could have been because she was hoping her favourite, apple would be in there. Maybe If I would have done the apricot and cherries in 2 different sittings she may have tried the cherries and liked them.

The next week I decided it was time to try the book again. This time I thought I would see if the book encouraged Lily to eat something that she would never even try. Banana. Each time I have tried it with her she has pushed it away.
So I cut some into the tub and I also put the rest of the banana on the book so she could see it as a full piece. Lily knew exactly what it was and told me it was a banana and we discussed where it came from and what it looked like. She opened the tub but as she touched one of the bananas she said ewww. I don't think she likes the texture. But she then picked up the banana with the skin and took a big bite. She then passed it to me and said she didn't like it. BUT i'm really glad that the book at least got her to try it.

Lily did end up getting banana on the book, but it was so easy to just wipe clean with a wet wipe.

Overall we have really enjoyed using the taste n tell book and I can't wait to try Lily with even more nice fruits to see if she will eat them. I think the book is a really great concept to learn about foods and encourage children to eat them. Soon there are to be plenty other books joining the food discovery journey with a vegetable book, grains book, protein book and dairy book. Which I really look forward to seeing.

The Discovering Fruit Book is £18.99 and can be bought from the Taste N Tell website.

What do you think to the Taste N Tell Book? 

If you love the look of this Taste N Tell book then your in luck as I have one to give away. Enter on the Gleam app below for your chance to win.

Win a Taste N Tell Book

Saturday 24 June 2017

The A to Z of Lily

I spotted last week on someones blog post an A to Z of me post. I thought it was a great idea but I wanted to change it to make it the A-Z of Lily. The idea is that I have to think of the first word relating to Lily that comes into your head beginning with that letter. So here we go...  

A - ADORABLE - Lily can definitely be this. She makes the more adorable face when she wants something and looks up at me and says "please mummy".

B - BOISTEROUS - Sometimes I just don't know where she gets the energy from but sometimes she runs rings around me and finds it hilarious. 

C - CUDDLY - Lily loves a good cuddle. Sometimes a little to much and she won't let me stop cuddling her for 2 seconds. 

D - DISASTROUS - Lily has been a little clumsy lately and causing all sorts of mini disasters. Breaking things, knocking her potty of fresh wee all over, and falling over and being so close to really hurting herself. 

E - ENERGETIC - A little like how boisterous she is, I just don't know where she gets her energy from but she doesn't nap any more and just keeps going and going. 

F - FUNNY - Lily does the funniest little things and says the funniest. She is always dressing up and telling me how much she likes everything. Even her daddies boxers she told me she loved while we did the laundry. 

G - GROSS - Why do children insist on picking there nose and pulling out a great big bogie and showing you it?

H - HAPPY - I just love it when Lily is in a happy mood. Playing nicely with her teddies and making up conversations as she smiles away. 

I - IRRESISTIBLE - I just can't help but pick her up and give her the biggest kisses sometimes! 

J - JUMPY - Lily is so easy to make jump, she is frightened of her own shadow sometimes. She also loves to jump on the bed. 

K - KIND - Lily always shares and if someone is upset she will give them a hug and make sure they are okay. 

L - LOVING - Lily is so loveable. She always strokes the cats and when she is around other babies she will look after them by giving them a blanket or teddies. 

M - MONSTER - Oh yes, Lily can definitely be a little monster. She knows how to throw a good tantrum and also knows how to totally ignore everything you are saying. 

N - NOISY - Hand me the headphones. Lily sometimes runs around the house screaming just for fun. I have had guests cringe at how high pitched her scream can be. 

O - OH DEAR - One of the things Lily says a lot! 

P - POLITE - Lily has really good manners, always says please and thank you and sometimes will say sorry. 

Q - QUEEN - I swear this little lady thinks she is the queen. The way she sometimes orders me around like she thinks she is in charge. 

R - REFUSING - Lily's favourite word is NO! She really does like to try her best to refuse to do things, like have a bath and go to bed, eat all her dinner. 

S - STUBBORN - She wants things her way or no way generally, and just like I said for R, flat out refuses to do things. Even when they are for her own good.

T - TALKATIVE - Now that Lily knows how to talk, she doesn't ever stop. Sometimes we can't understand what she is going on about, especially when talking to herself or her toys and teddies but most the time we can have a good conversation with her. 

U - UNDERSTANDS - Lily is really good at understanding things now. Most things I explain to her she gets and then remembers how to do later on.  

V - VANITY  - Lily is always looking at herself in the mirror, she is always dressing up lately and wanting to wear her jewellery. I have also caught her trying on my underwear and high heels. Oh dear haha. 

W - WHINEY - Like does love to whinge and whine. Usually over nothing. She is the worst for it when tired. 

X - CROSS - As there are no words beginning with X that I can think off i'm saying cross as thats definitely what Lily can get like. She will fold her arms at you and say NO!   

Y - YAWN - This is something Lily makes me do a lot when she tires me out. Which is pretty much every day. Haha 

Z - ZOOM - Lily zooms around the house like she is fuelled up on red bull. 

What words describe your child? 

Thursday 22 June 2017

Encouraging Role Play - Being a Doctor

Role play is such an important part of learning and its something that Lily has always enjoyed doing. Sometimes I find that its great to set up a little scenario to encourage role play and show children that things don't always have to be exactly what they are. For example you could use a brick and pretend that it is a phone. 

So today I set up a Dr scenario for Lily. Lily is currently mad on watching Doc Mcstuffins and so I knew she would enjoy this scenario.

We got all her teddy's down from her bedroom to start. I piled them all up in one area of the room. I then got Lily's wooden doll pram and I told her that this would be an ambulance. (I then made the noise nee nah nee nah as I pushed it about.) I got her dolls bed and told her that the poorly teddy's need to be brought here. I then put toggether a Dr's kit. This had stethoscope, cream, a little measuring container which I told her was medicine, and a thermometer. 

I first showed Lily a scenario. Got the pram and picked up a teddy and I told Lily it needed to go to the hospital. She put the teddy in the pram and I said to cover it with the blanket so it didn't get cold. She then wizzed to the other end of the room going nee nah ne nah with the pram which is now her make believe ambulance. She then took the teddy out and placed it in bed. I then asked where was the teddy hurt and she said arm. I said okay maybe you need to give him some cream. So she pretended to give him cream and said "all better now" So when the patients were better they went and sat on the couch. 

Lily totally knew how to play now and I sat back and left her to it. As much as she enjoys me playing with her. I think its important for a child to explore there own imagination with role play and create what they want to create. During her play I would ask a few questions like "whats wrong with this patient" and she would say "sore head" and so I might suggest to give him medicine and showed her to tip the container into his mouth.

Lily played at this for ages with so many of her teddy's. She really enjoyed it and it was so lovely watching her pretend to be a Doctor.

I definetly plan to do more role play with her and the huge collection of teddy's. 

What sort of roles do your children like to take on? 

Tuesday 20 June 2017

Nuby Picnic Bundle - Review and Giveaway

Did you know that this week is #NationalPicnicWeek?

It definitely came at the perfect week as we have actually had some nice weather and managed to head out for a picnic. We were super lucky that I also had a Nuby Picnic Bundle ready on stand by, which they sent me to review. 

Nuby has a fantastic range of baby and toddler tablewear and not only are their products great for every day use. They are also perfect for picnics.

Nuby sent us - 

2 packs of sectioned plates
One 3 pack of stackable suction bowls with lids
A travel mealtime cutlery set
A snack and sip cup
A busy sipper beaker 
A dress me dolly

I was really happy that the dress me dolly was in the bundle. Who better to invite to our picnic than a lovely dolly. Lily was so impressed with her and gave her a big hug as soon as I handed her over. The dolly is such good quality. She is really soft and perfect for ages 0+. The dolls clothes all have little things that you can do to it. Such as zip up her top, fasten her shoes, and button up her pocket. Lily really liked the zip mostly and kept pulling it up and down. The dolly retails at £9.99 but if your quick she is currently on sale at a bargain price of £4.99!! I really couldn't recommend this doll enough and think she is a steal at both great prices. Also if you have a boy and not a girl, thats no problem. Nuby also do a dress me pirate doll. 

So first thing first is getting the picnic ready. I got out my stackable suction plates. These are great. I just love the colours and think they are perfect for storing in the cupboard after using them. They have 3 different sizes and all come with lids. Which is perfect for picnics as well as storing other foods at other times. We don't really have much use for the suction part of them now lily is older but that part of it is perfect for baby's and toddlers that like to try and pull there food all down them selfs. I tested out how good the suction is on them and it is REALLY hard to pull them off, you have to sort of slide them off the table. It would be impossible for a baby or toddler to pull this over. This set of tubs retails at £7.49. 

So I got the picnic ready and put it all in a bag and we headed to the park and I filled up all of the tubs. One tub I had yellow peppers and tomatoes in. The second I placed Lily's sandwich in. The third I placed some cheese nibbles in. I placed lids on top of them all which easily snap shut on top of the tubs. They felt really tight and sealed. I had no worries that a lid may come off and spill out all the food. It was also good to know that the nibbles wern't going soft inside from the tubs sealing so well. 

We got to the park. I laid out everything for the picnic. Me and Lily and dolly all sat down and lily handed out the sectioned plates. I love these. They remind me of trays you used to get your dinner on at school. Each pack came with 2 colours and so we ended up with red, orange, green and blue. Each plate has 3 sections. They are perfect for little fingers foods just like the type you get at a picnic. I opened up the tubs and Lily then shared out the food between herself, me and dolly. She placed the different foods in each different section, so she knew exactly what she was meant to do with the plates. The plates are all dishwasher, microwavable and steriliser safe so when not being used for a picnic they are also perfect for home use. Lily really enjoyed eating her picnic food from the plates. I think they are a great way to make it more exciting for your child to eat and may even help fussy eaters want to eat up all their food. 

Lily then wanted to eat her peppers with a travel fork. The fact the forks come in handy little travel cases is great and makes them perfect for taking to a picnic. The lid snaps on tightly so they don't fall out. They are made from plastic and so not sharp and also a perfect introduction to using cutlery. The only problem was that the fork wasn't sharp enough and I had to help lily stab the peppers by pressing down on them really hard. I think they would be perfect for eating picnic foods such as rice, cous cous and pasta. The travel set is a bargain price of £2.49. 

Soon enough Lily was thirsty. So I offered her the water I had brought in the busy sipper beaker. Lily can be really fussy with bottles but she loved this one. The colour design really attracted her and she found it really easy to hold, tip and sip from the spout. I did have to open it for her though as it was quite a stiff closing on the spout. Nuby have such a great range of beakers but this one Lily loved straight away and i'm really happy with it. It holds a good amount of water and is recommended for 18 months plus. It retails at another bargain price of £3.49

Lily eventually asked for some apple juice which is her favourite. I had brought some for her in the snack and sip cup. The snack and sip cup I think is so cool! You put the juice in the cup and then the snack in the top. You can be so creative and do all sorts of different combinations. So we had apple juice in the bottom and I placed some raisins in the top. I wish I would of had some apples in the house at the time as they would have been great to place in the snack section. I handed Lily the cup and said "here is your apple juice". She took it off me, looked at it and said "no I don't want raisins". I tried to explain to her that the juice was in the bottom and raisins in the top and that she wouldn't drink the raisins but after that she wouldn't try the cup at all. But as it was such a hot day and I was quite thirsty I tried it. I did love how soft the straw was in my mouth, but I did find that it was very hard to suck the juice out. Lily still won't try the cup so i'm not sure how she would do with it. But I did manage to have a drink and I do love the idea of having a snack with it too. Seen as Lily also wasn't eating the raisins I decided I would. So I went to lift the lid and as I pulled, the raisins came out everywhere. I have learnt with this lid to pull a little more gently. At least I know that it won't come open in my bag and the snacks won't come out everywhere. The drinks straw is also non spill which means is great so it also doesn't spill all over your bag. This cup retails at £4.49 and is recommended for 12 months plus. 

Over all we had a fantastic picnic and I really recommend using Nuby for all your picnic needs in the future. Head here to the Nuby website to see all the range. 

If you are picnic ready now!!  Nuby have kindly let me give away an entire bundle. That means you win all of the above! Its worth over £30 and you can also choose if you would like the girl dolly or the pirate one. Enter now on the gleam app below for your chance to win.

Win a Nuby Picnic Bundle Worth over £30