Saturday 31 March 2018

Happy Easter - Painting Eggs

Happy Easter 

We have been celebrating Easter in many ways so far, and the Easter Bunny hasn't even arrived yet and Lily already has some yummy Easter eggs.

One of the things Lily loves to do the most is paint. So it was only right that I let her paint some eggs this year. But as I did not want to waste food, I decided to get Lily fake eggs to paint rather than using real ones. They didn't cost much to do this activity and I spent £1 on the eggs and nothing on the paint as she already had lots of that. 

I let Lily choose her colours that she wanted to paint her eggs. She chose Pink, Blue, Green, and Yellow. She did really well painting them and enjoyed that she was painting something different to just painting on paper. 

After that we left them to dry. The next day they looked great and so we decided to add some decoration. I let lily choose what colours again she wanted to do and what patterns. She did some spots, stripes and also a face on one of them. 

We then left them to dry and are left with some lovely decorated eggs. Lily really enjoyed doing this activity and I can see us doing it again over the Easter holidays. 

Here are the photographs of Lily doing the activity. 

What Easter Activities have you done this year? 

Friday 30 March 2018

Mummy and Me - March

Yey! I actually have some nice Mummy and Me pictures to show off this month!!! As it was mothers day! I was actually very worried that Lily would totally refuse to have her picture taken with me but she was actually more than happy to pose with my lovely card and chocolate that she got me. Also For a change I actually look half awake and so I really love these pictures this month.

She is starting to like the idea of us having our picture taken more now. But more if there is a good reason for it to be taken. Maybe she is like me and doesn't like a selfie unless she is looking her best. 

Anyway, here are this months Mummy and Me Photographs. 

Wednesday 28 March 2018

LOL Surprise Confetti Pop Giveaway

Series 3 of LOL Surprise is now out with the new exciting Confetti Pop Tots Dolls. The new features are more surprising and outrageous than ever before with 9 new layers and a new and fun way to unbox your doll and accessories. 

The surprise includes

  • Secret Message Sticker
  • Collectable Stickers
  • Bottle Charm
  • Shoes
  • Outfit
  • Fashion Accessory 
  • 2 Mystery Surprises
  • Lol Surprise Tot Doll with Water Surprise. 

It also comes with a collector poster so you can see which dolls there are to collect. 

The Confetti Pop LOL surprise dolls are £10.99 and can be bought from Smyths Toy Store. 

How would you like to win one of these New Lol Surprise Confetti Pop Dolls? Simply enter on the gleam app below for your chance to win! 

Win a LoL Surprise Confetti POP

Tuesday 27 March 2018

5 Parenting Struggles Most Parents Can Relate To

I don't know if you have noticed, but as rewarding parenting can be and as enjoyable it can be. It can also be really difficult. Don't get me wrong I would never change it for the world. But literally as I have written these 3 lines of writing I have put on my daughters lunch, been upstairs to get her a tissue, argued with her about why we need to tidy up toys before getting new ones out, tidied up her toys while she got new ones out and then also sat typing the end of this paragraph with her on my knee! 

Sounds exhausting even reading that back to myself but we do learn as parents to juggle things pretty well. 

But I think there are certain things that are always going to be classed as parenting struggles and so here are 5 that I think we can all relate to. 

1. The Constant Tidying Up
It really does feel never ending! I don't think for me it helps that Lily has so many toys, but that is my own fault for reviewing so many toys for you to read about. I find that as I tidy one room (her play room perhaps), then she will be trashing the front room. If I am tidying her bedroom, she will have taken toys from her bedroom into my bedroom and then thats a mess instead. It sometimes feels like a never ending pointless activity. There are also times that I really do need to get on with work and lily decides she will happily play, which is great, work done.. ahh I can relax... turn around and OMG there are toys EVERYWHERE. No relax time for me. I am trying to teach Lily that when she gets one toy out she needs to put another away first but she is only 3 and so that goes in one ear and out the other. I generally find that as she does start to tidy it, she suddenly decides she doesn't want to stop playing with it after all and she would pour the entire box of Sticklebricks that we have just tidied away all back out on the floor.  An expression I find I use a lot in this situation is "Why do I bother". 

2. The Constant Need for Attention 
This may not be a struggle for all parents but I do find Lily's constant need for attention to be tricky. I have been invited to a fitness group where I could take Lily with me but I feel that I probably with have to do the exercises with her attached to my leg making it extra hard. Lily seems to act up on needing attention when I am busy doing something. For example I have a blog post to write, I am trying to clean up, do the washing. These are all times that Lily decides she needs a cuddle, picking up, and suddenly a task that she can normally do is impossible and she needs help. But if I simply sit on my bum on a chair in the living room doing nothing. (Which doesn't happen often) then she will quite happily sit on the floor and play all by herself contently.
She has also started to get very impatient. If she asks me to do something for her, If I don't do it literally the second she has asked me and I mean second, then she asks again, and again. Usually not even giving me time to even stand up.
Im hoping that this isn't just a Lily thing and something else other parents can relate too? 

3. Constantly Asking Questions

I do love that kids are inquisitive and Lily is definitely no different to any other child when it comes to want to know about everything. I am perfectly happy to answer her questions and love to help her learn about the world. But sometimes your just like "really.... your asking me that?" I have lately been answering my questions with a little sarcastic joke. For example, this morning. I walk into the bathroom, Lily can see where I am going, she is following me there as always. Lily - "Where are you going mummy" Me - "To the moon" Lily - "No your not, your going to the bathroom" Me - "then why ask!?!" She usually finds it quite funny when I joke with her like that and I do mostly answer questions with a real answer, but parents will all understand that the constant questions just get too much.
Then theres the questions you just can't answer. "Mummy, why is the moon out, its daytime??" I suddenly am needed to turn to google for the answer which is generally one that Lily would never understand so I just tell her that he has come to visit the sun. Then there is the worst..the worst question that just haunts parents. "WHY?", when no matter what answer you give them it is followed by a "WHY?" I actually wrote a post on this quite a while ago and I had hoped Lily would have grown out this phase but unfortunately not. I do know from talking to many parents that this one is a common one to feel like pulling your hair out a little. 

4. Lack of Sleep 
Zzzzzzzzz. The first thing I will say about this one is that you think your tired. You have children, now you know the meaning of tired. You may be lucky and have a child who is a brilliant sleeper. But I still expect the juggling of a million things parents have to do, will make you tired. Especially when you wave goodbye to your child's nap time.
Lily has never been a brilliant sleeper. She didn't sleep through until she was about 2 years old and then still didn't sleep through every night. I think going over 2 years of getting up every night did nearly kill me. But I am alive and so apparently it doesn't actually kill you. Lily does still wake me up though. Last night was at least 3 times, and now she is waking me for the most ridiculous of reasons. Reason 1, she says she couldn't pull her blankets back on top of her. Reason 2, she had dropped her teddy on the floor. Reason 3, she had a bogie on her finger! It is so frustrating that I am feeling so tired for those reasons above. Again another phase I hope she grows out of and soon she won't wake at all, or at least gets herself back to sleep when she does.

5. Never getting to eat a meal to yourself

Well this one isn't to much of a biggie, but it can be fair annoying when she has decided she doesn't want to eat her own dinner and suddenly wants yours. Especially when you offered her what you were having for yourself in the first place but she chose fish fingers instead. I am generally pretty hungry and pretty much ALWAYS have to share my dinner/lunch. I always say, you know its love when you give away your last roast potato! 
But there are times I do have to tell her that she has her dinner and I have mine or else she would happily steal all my food. 

So there are 5 things that I think as parents we can all relate to, and know, that we are not alone and that its also not a bad thing to feel like your struggling. One thing as a blogger I never want to portray is that i'm perfect and that my life is perfect. That is no where near true and although I can write tips for you, my readers. Know that I can also struggle with the every day problems that other parents also face. 

Well... after taking 2 hours to write all that. I guess I better clean up!

I would love to know which of the above you struggle with?

Are there other things you struggle with? 

Saturday 24 March 2018

Twist and Chime and Talking Teletubbies Review

If you are as old (young) as me then you may remember loving the Teletubbies when you were a child. I sure do. I am super pleased that they have made a comeback just in time for my daughter to enjoy them too. Im not sure what it is about the colourful squidgy looking characters that we love but there is definitely something that just makes kids go crazy for them. Lily is no different and she loves watching the Teletubbies when it comes on the Tv. 

Not only has the show of the Teletubbies made a come back but a whole new line of toys have been released and Lily and I were sent some new ones made by Character to try out. 

We were sent a 8" Talking plush Teletubbie and 4 Twist and Chime Teletubbies. 

Lily absolutely fell in love with the talking plush Teletubbie as soon as I gave it to her and it suddenly became her new best friend. She gave it the biggest hug ever and was super delighted that it was now hers. 

It is the perfect size for her to cuddle, not to big and not to small and you would not believe how soft it is. Even I couldn't stop stroking it, it is that soft. I think I now need to re decorate my entire house in that soft material and I am super jealous that she gets to cuddle something so soft everyday. 

The cuteness and softness of this Teletubbie is great but the greatness does not stop there. Press its tummy and it speaks lots of the Teletubbie lines that your child will recognise and love. Lily was super impressed that it talked to her and you could hear quite clearly what it said. I think this Teletubbie plush is adorable and every toddler would love it. 

As soon as she had gotten over the excitement of having a new plush Teletubbie she decided to take a look at the Twist and Chime Teletubbies. 

These little figures are just so cute and only a few inches tall each. There faces are adorable and super happy. I think they look so inviting for little kids to want to play with them, and not to mention they are the perfect size for little hands. 

I would have thought that with Lily being nearly 3 and a half that she wouldn't be interested in these but she was totally the opposite. She loved making them walk around and pretended that they were talking to each other. You can also make their arms move up and down to add even more pretend interaction. They are perfect for her imaginary play. 

But then she discovered that you can also twist there bodies around and when you do they make a chime sound. Lily loves anything that makes sound and so she was quite impressed that her Teletubbie was also like a musical instrument. 

As well as Lily loving these toys, they are perfect for children around 18 months old. They work as perfect sensory toys with the colours and the chime sound. Also excellent for helping their fine motor skills when twisting and turning the figures. 

Both toys are perfect for ages 18 months to 3 years old and both can be bought here from Argos

The 8" Talking Teletubbie is a brilliant price of £9.99 which I think is great value for money for such a soft talking plush. And the Twist and Chime Teletubbies are £4.99 each. 

Both I would happily recommend as something your child would love. 

Is your child a Teletubbie Fan? Would they love these toys?  

Wednesday 21 March 2018

Wow Toys Sam the Steam Train Review and Giveaway

Lily has been a fan of Wow Toys since she was about 1 years old when she got her first wow toys cars. I am so pleased that 2 years later she still plays with them. Not only that but they are all in one piece and have lasted being thrown around and played with loads. 

Lily has been a Wow Toys tester since around 2 years old and so now she now has wonderful collection of vehicles. So when we found out that Wow Toys had brought out a train we asked if they would like us to put it to the test.

So they popped one in the post for us and not long after it arrived at out door.

Lily was so pleased to see that she had something new from Wow Toys to play with, as soon as she saw it she started to play with it, that was before I even got it out of the box. She even happily posed for a picture with it she was that impressed. 

One thing I noticed straight away was that Wow Toys have new packaging. I have always loved the old Wow toys boxes as they were always really colourful with their bright red design. I could always spot them in the shops if they had them in there. I think the new packaging has a more up to date look, which is clean but still slightly colourful. I do like the little motor symbols on the front that show the train has a push and go motor. The boxes are now also open so then the child and parents can try the toy before they buy. It also had a little hole around the side which gave another peek at the train which I thought was good. Listed down the side in colourful circles are also all the things that make wow toys great toys and perfect for kids. 
Hopefully I shall still be able to instantly spot them when in shops. 

I love that Wow Toys have brought out a train. Trains are so popular with children and Lily loves them. Wow toys have gone all out with the design of this train. It comes in 2 parts, the train engine and a hook on carriage. The train itself can seat 2 people who could drive the train and the carriage has 4 seats and even has 2 beds. The set comes with 3 figures that look to be the driver and 2 passengers. The carriage opens and they have designed it so it looks like there are steps coming from a platform up onto the train. I think this is very clever. They haven't missed a detail. There are birds on the platform, food on the table inside the carriage, and all sorts of control detail inside the train itself. It is all done so nicely and looks so colourful and fun. It all really helps aid children's imaginations when playing. 

The one thing I have always loved about Wow toys is how the vehicles all have faces on the front. I think that this really makes the toys child friendly and just makes them really happy playful looking toys. 

Wow toys are really made so that they are kind to our children using non toxic paint No BPA and no PVC and they have made sure there are no small parts for choking. This makes them perfect for children aged 1 to 5 years old. 

Lily loved the train. She loved putting the characters in and she loves pushing it along. She loves using her imagination and now she is 3 years old its great to see her making the characters talk to each other.
The toy doesn't need any batteries but has a motor so when pushed it carries on moving along the floor when you let go. 
Anything that works so well without batteries is a real plus for me. The worst is when they really want to play with something but the batteries have run out and it doesn't work anymore until you get new ones. Generally young children really don't understand the concept of "it needs new batteries". So the fact that this toy is going to be always working for Lily is great. 

Lily really enjoyed that this train went toot toot by a simple push of the engines chimney. Lily isn't a big fan of loud noises and so the fact that its only a simple toot when she presses it is great. She prefers that to if it made a loud toot or even louder noise like music. 

Lily has been playing with the train lots and its great to know that I can leave her to play with it alone and no parent supervision is needed for it. We did come across one problem though and that is that when the carriage door is closed, it is VERY hard to pull open again. Lily couldn't do it and even I struggled too. I am hoping and thinking that the more it gets played with that the more it will loosen up. 

The train is £34.99 and is money well spent as I know that Wow Toys really do last and also don't break easy. 

Head to the Wow Toys Website to find out more and also find out where to buy it. 

What do you love about the New Wow Toys Train? 

Im so excited to say that I have one Sam the Steam Train to giveaway to one lucky winner! Enter on the Gleam app below for your chance to win.

Win a Wow Toys Sam the Steam Train

Tuesday 20 March 2018

Mid Month More About Me - Pole Fitness March

This months post is going to be a follow up from last months post about how I am starting to get fit from doing Stretch and Pole fitness. 

I have never really been to the gym, its not my sort of thing and going to one has never interested me. But lately I have wanted to tone up slightly and so I thought I would take up pole class. 

I am on my third month of doing it now and I am starting to notice the difference. Firstly difference in my strength, my arms are a lot stronger and I have definetly got more core strength. One way I have noticed that my arms are getting stronger is because in stretch class we are learning to be able to do a bridge. We are doing back stretches that help be more flexible making the arch of your back in a bridge better. I am on my third week of doing back stretches now and the first week when I attempted a bridge, I couldn't even list my head from the floor. The second week I just about managed it, and last night on my third session I pushed myself up higher than ever before. I am super impressed with myself at how far I have come in 3 weeks.
I am hoping that next week I will be able to do an even better bridge than this week. 

Below is a picture of week 2 doing a bridge and then last night which was week 3. You can see more arch in my back and that my arms are straighter. 

Pole class I can also see some improvement. I am starting to be able to go upside down a lot easier now and also I have managed to hang on with just my legs and go backwards. This move is quite hard taking a lot of core strength. 
Though the hardest part is getting back up when you get you upper part of your body backwards. So far not quite managed to do that yet and had to have help.

But I have noticed that I have toned quite well, my stomach is looking more defined and so are my legs and arms. I have also noticed I have lost weight on my hips which is what I wanted, but unfortunately that also means that my boobs have lost weight to, which I didn't want.
Usually during stretch and pole we also do mini work out sessions and that involved doing a good warm up doing jumping jacks and press ups. Then after the pole class we always do a 10-15 min core strength work out doing sit ups and legs raises. I actually really enjoy the core work out part of the session. I have started to do these at home too (when I don't forget) and this is also helping my stomach tone up.

But as I mentioned in my last post. Pole hurts and I can definitely use the words no pain, no gain. I am always covered in bruises and last night doing a spin move I somehow managed to rip the skin from my hand. If your squeamish then turn away now... 

But that does not put me off! I cant wait for each Monday for my sessions and I plan to keep it up for as long as I can.

Do you think you would give Pole Fitness a try? 

Saturday 17 March 2018

BigJigs Toys Role Play Food Review

This review is going to be talking all about 3 things that Lily and I both really like. Wooden Toys, Role Play, and one of our favourite toy brands BigJigs Toys

The first thing that pops into my mind when I think of BigJigs toys is high quality colourful wooden toys and so I was really pleased when I found out Lily and I was getting to try out some of there wooden role play toys. 

BigJigs gave me a choice of role play toys to choose from. Lily is a huge fan of playing in her kitchen and so I chose some food that I thought she may enjoy using her imagination with. 

I chose 2 items. One was a cheese board and one was a box of biscuits. The reason I chose these was because Cheese is one of Lily's favourite foods to eat, and also so are biscuits. She also makes me have pretend tea on a daily basis and a pretend biscuit is just what is missing. 

Lily was so so excited to receive her new toys. She could not wait for me to get them open for her to play with. 

I asked Lily which she wanted to try first and she chose the cheese set. She could see exactly what was going to be in this set from the photograph on the front of the box and so she was super excited to get it open.

The cheese set includes a wooden cheese board and knife with a selection of 5 cheeses. It also comes with an apple that you can cut in half and 2 squares which are meant to be biscuits.

I think role play with foods is really important for a child's development. It really encourages them to be interested in new foods, healthy foods and how to prepare foods.

The cheese looks so good. I love the types that were put onto the cheese board as they all looked different to each other. I do love a good cheese board myself so even though they are made of wood and I can't eat them, I was very pleased to see some of my favourites there.

The detail on the cheese is great and you have the blue specs for blue stilton and the holes for the cheddar. The pieces of cheese are all so nicely painted and finished so they are nice and smooth to play with. You can tell they are made from good quality wood but also not a heavy wood which is great for little hands. 

The apple has some velcro in the middle so then it can be cut and then stuck back together. Lily really enjoyed doing this and cut the apple up over and over again. She also found it really easy to do which is a huge bonus as she does get frustrated easily. 

Lily really loves her role play so she also enjoyed pretending to spread butter onto the crackers before putting the cheese on top. It was great that Lily also recognised the square pieces of wood as biscuits, as to begin with I wasn't sure what they were. 

Lily spent ages playing with this set and it has been a great addition to her kitchen. 

After this she wanted me to open the biscuits for her. I just love that the biscuits come in a box that you can keep and you can store them in. It really is a beautiful little box and such a nice thing for biscuits to be kept in. 

The box of biscuits comes with 9 different types of biscuit and there are 2 of each type. They all have their own little compartment to sit in. Lots of the biscuits are recognisable and there was some of Lily's favourites and some of mine. There are gingerbread men, party rings, cookies, and Lily's favourites which are custard creams. It really is a great selection of biscuits. 

The detail on the biscuits is amazing and look so like the real thing. Just like the the Oreo style biscuits which have 2 layers of biscuits and a layer of cream inside. It is great that they have put that much detail into these biscuits. 

Just like the cheese set, they are painted so well and finished to a high quality so they are nice and smooth. 

Lily has played with these biscuits non stop since they arrived. She must have played with them nearly every day and they are a common choice of food when serving pretend things for me to eat. Lily knows all to well that I must have a biscuit with my cup of tea and so she always incorporates this fact into her tea making role play now.

I love everything about these biscuits and they have to be the best role play biscuits I have ever seen. They look good enough to eat!

In fact Lily did try eating them and put them in her mouth when pretending to do so. I am really glad that BigJigs Toys are safety assured and Lily is fine to be putting them in her mouth. 

I would really recommend these sets to anyone with children who love role play. Especially the biscuits set. I think it is something every child would love to own.

The sets are both really great value too with the biscuits box at £14.99 and the cheese set at £13.49 

Both of these along with other brilliant food sets can be bought from the BigJigs Toys Website. I really would buy all the sets if I could! They all look great. So head over and check them out. 

What do you think to the cheese board and biscuit box?

Which would your child enjoy the most? 

Thursday 15 March 2018

My Photography Post - March

So I have been really rubbish with my photography lately and hardly been getting out and doing any. What with parenting, blogging and working and then then weather, I just haven't found the time. I really wanted to get out and shoot some of the snow, but the times I went out in it, Lily got to cold and wanted to go in after 15-30 min so I only had a few chances. 

But during those few chances I did manage to grab the opportunity to photograph some icicles. So here they are... 

Then on Valentines I did manage to get my camera out to photograph the roses my partner got me. I just loved the way the raindrops had landed on the roses and on the plastic wrapping they came in. I just had to take a photograph.

So a very short photography this post, and I have missed the last 3 months of photography posts. But I am hoping to be able to get some more ready for you soon.

Which of the photographs that I took do you like? 

Wednesday 14 March 2018

Easy Tots EasyMat Review and Giveaway

Wether it be entertaining your kids, feeding your kids, or cleaning your kids. Items that help our days spent with our children easier are something that we are all on the look out for. 

So when I was approached by Easy Tots to review their EasyMat, It was very hard to say no to.
I was told that I was getting sent a Large EasyMat and a EasyMat Mini. There was a choice of colours, Green, Blue or Pink in the large EasyMat and Orange, Blue or Pink in the EasyMat Mini. 
I decided to choose green and orange. I like that there are these options of colours as I like Lily owning a range of colours.

When they arrived they looked great. Lily was really excited to get them open and get using them. 

Though the image on the front of the box shows a baby. The EasyMat is also great for toddlers and children Lily's age. The design is super friendly with its happy face look. Also the fact that it has 3 split area's that different foods can be placed in is a huge bonus. I knew just from looking at them that we would use them lots. 

The EasyMat is made from a Silicone material and has 4 suctions that mean you can stick your mat to a highchair or table. This is making sure that your baby or child cannot pick up the plate and spill their dinner everywhere. This is really great for baby lead weaning so then you can let your baby feed themselves without the worry of mess. Everyone has seen those pictures of babies with the bowl of spaghetti on their heads and although its funny the first time, its not great for every meal to be that messy. This is why the EasyMat is perfect. 

The suctions stick to most things but you may struggle with it sticking to some unfinished woods, we had no problem sticking it to our finished wood table.

The mat has such a sleek and smooth appearance to it, it looks really nice and the large mat also comes with a silicone spoon. The spoon is really soft and so perfect for a babies first spoon. Especially as babies do love to chew down on something as they put it into their mouths. 

I love how colourful the matts are. This really will encourage you baby or child to want to eat from them. Lily has been super pleased each time I have served her dinner inside it. 

Lily has always been fussy with having her food mixed together and even on a plate that wasn't sectioned I have had to make sure her food is spaced out. So the fact that this has sections is brilliant. Lily has started to enjoy dipping her food into gravy. So it has been great to be able pour the gravy into one section so she can dip what she wants in, without having to worry about the gravy going on the food she doesn't want it to.

All in all the large EasyMat was a big hit with Lily. I can see us using it a lot for her meal times. 

As well as the large EasyMat there is the EasyMat Mini, I was really impressed that it came with a lid and storage bag. This means that it can be taken on the go. Perfect for the picnic area of a museum or feeding your baby in a cafe. We haven't had the chance to use it out anywhere yet. All the places we have been it has been frowned upon for me to take Lily's own food, but I know in the future there will definitely be times we will be able to use it. We are planning a trip to a local science museum soon and it will be perfect for that. 

The storage bag seals up airtight with a slider at the top which means it isn't going to come undone when transporting it.

The EasyMat Mini works just the same as the large mat. It is made of the same material and also has the handy suctions so it can stick to tables. We have been using this one for lunches. It is perfect again for dividing the foods up meaning she doesn't get juice from her apple on her other foods. Placing foods into the different sections seem to really excite Lily and that encourages her to want to eat more. 

Here are a few more details about the EasyMat
  • It's made from High Quality Food Grade Silicone 
  • Easy to Clean and Dishwasher Safe 
  • Free from Chemicals 
  • Can be used in the Freezer 
  • Large Mat Size - Length : 38cm, Width : 26cm
  • Mini Mat Size - Length : 32cm, Width : 17.2cm 
The Large Mat is £15.99 and the Mini Mat is £14.99 these can both be bought from the EasyTots Website

If you are just starting your feeding journey with you baby or are looking for a fun way to serve food to your child then I would definitely recommend you look at getting yourself an EasyMat.

Now time for a competition? Easy Tots have let me give away one of each mat to one lucky winner. For your chance to win, Enter below on the Gleam app.

Win an EasyMat Bundle