Friday 20 December 2013

What to get a 16 month for Christmas? Her letter to father Christmas

There are plenty of flashy and smart presents you could buy for a 16 month old girl. Many that I am sure will provide her with hours of fun and entertainment. A cute teddy or a flashy toy but here is Ami's list of what she really wants.

Dear father Christmas 

Ive been good i think i am not sure does hitting your brothers count pants wouldn't let me play his toys so I biffed him one. Here is what i want please.. 

Stacks of books and dvds
I spend hours everyday pulling books of a shelf, then pull all the neatly stacked dvds on top of that, if i am lucky i may get hold of one of those shiny things inside. 

A light up hand thing 
I see mum and dad with these hand things, i would like one too so I can watch peppa pig and press the circle button. Not a plastic one that does nothing i have seen they are no good I wouldn't play with it at all!

I love these stick things, they would do me well I like to draw over my body at any available opportunity. Especially when I can see were about to go out!

One of those things with buttons 
I Like to watch peppa and if i had one of those buttons things i could do it myself. I like to point with the button machine already towards the light box with peppa in mind!! 

So please father Christmas I promise I will be good, I wont pull anymore tags of the already wrapped presents and will not try and open any presents that don't have my name on!

love Ami


Monday 16 December 2013

Little bear you are 1 month old

Little Bear your 1 month
we have been blessed with another amazing child
another little person full of life 
ready to make his mark on the world

You came along into the world very loud and angry
you at first didnt like to not wear clothes 
you would cry until you were dressed again
in clothes so small and so cute

You spent a few days in hospital at 10 days old
you had to go in an oxygen box and have a tube down your nose
it was very sad to see you and not cuddle you
everyone was glad to have you home

Your starting to sleep alot better 
getting more hours in the night
in the day your forever woken by your big sister 
but still manage to sleep through her being very noisy

You brother and sister adore you 
Ami doesnt leave you alone
weather she is putting blankets on you or a book on your head
they love you to bits

Were so glad your here

Were enjoying lots of newborn snuggles 

cant believe how quick this first month has gone

We love you lots little bear!!

Vistaprint Photo wall Calendar Review

Who doesn't love a photo calendar, I love them, I love photos so perfect to see some photos through out the year. Its a lovely gift for a loved one and I always get one for my mother with pictures of the grandchildren on every Christmas.

 We recently got asked to review an Vistaprint photo calendar I was over joyed but then came the issue of choosing 12 photos out of the hundreds I take. Then to choose which month to place that photo it took so long after a long time I came to the final conclusion of the following twelve (see below). I thought it would be lovely to see how much the babies have grown over the year too.t

Using the website was easy enough I found the process quite easy and its great to have the options of being able to upload photos from Facebook, Flickr and Picasa. I personally didn't as didn't want to have poor quality photos as I have done this before and had grainy pictures. It did not take much time to upload photos which meant I wasn't distracted by other things and could get on with finishing it. You can start from any month and even add special dates to the calender.

Before adding photos you can add a theme to the calendar. There is so many to choose from and even some that have spongebob squarepants for the children. So after Deciding which photos I then had to decided when and where to add the photos. You can choose one photo to add each month or a multiple. I stayed with one photo option (only because I didn't see that option beforehand) Before I knew it it was done and I ordered it.

It didn't take long to come and was such good quality. The pictures look great and I cant wait to start using it. My only criticism of the website is that I had ordered some bits by mistake, there was alot of adverts before ordering it and it became a little confusing. I ended up ordering some address labels by mistake. Which was rather annoying!

They currently have 50% there photo calenders so if your stuff for a gift for that special someone them I recommended it. At the price of £7.99 for a personalised calendar who can complain. You can check out vistaprint here and become a fan on facebook and twitter for more offers on future products.

Disclaimer: We were sent a voucher to buy a photo wall calender, all thoughts and opinions are my own.  

Saturday 14 December 2013

My Family - Australian Christmas

I am so so glad we have finally a photo of the five of us! The last Family photo of us was taken in October 2012! 

So here we are dressed up as Australian Christmas (many people didnt get it thought we had come in shorts and Tshirt!) 

So here it is... my little Family

Friday 13 December 2013

Hotel Chocolat: The Christmas Goody Bag Review

Its got to be one of the best things I have ever had the chance to review. My families face when they saw it was a picture. We all have a very sweet tooth and we never say no to a bit of chocolate, so I was over the moon when I was asked to review The Christmas goody bag. We all love Hotel Chocolat and ever year all our stockings have little treats from there and when ever we are shopping always pop in store not just because they give free samples because its lovely quality and tastes amazing. 

The goody bag came with a selection of different chocolates and ideal gift for a family or for someone special. It contained a cookie and caramel wreath, 6 Chocolate mess Chocolates, 6 treacle tart chocolates and a trio of milk chocolate Santa's. Both Pants and Ami couldn't wait to get stuck in, they both opted for the Santa's. The delight on there faces was a picture, Ami looked like Christmas had come early whilst Pants slowly savored the taste.   

Me and my husband held some back for when they were in bed we had the chore of eating the others. It was all so so good my personal favorite being the cookie and caramel wreath whilst my husband enjoyed the Christmas mess chocolates. Sadly the only problem with the chocolates they didn't last long on our house they were so tasty.

Its a lovely gift for a family, a couple or for one very special person (both me and my husband have hinted we would like anther for Christmas). Its good quality chocolate and they believe in more coco and less sugar but still manage to keep a lovely taste to all there chocolate. This goody bag only cost £18 which we thought was reasonable for the quality and I liked the fact it was already in a bag ideal as its one less to wrap. you can purchase the Goody bag here on there website, or in one of there many stores nation wide.

Disclaimer: We were sent this lovely bag of chocolates for the purpose of the review, all thoughts and opinions are my own

Free activities in the Winter - Winter walks with my little girl

One thing I love is going to the beach, I feel at home there and nothing beats getting some fresh salty air. It was a sunny afternoon so I thought why not, we live very close to the beach So I placed Little bear in his sling and armed with my Camera Me and Ami went for a walk on the beach. She was a little confused as to why she couldn't go in the sea, It was lovely. We had just caught the last bit of Sunshine I forgot how dark it gets quickly. Ami loved the dogs and finding shells I enjoyed walking along the beach with my little girl just me and her (and Little bear but he was asleep!). 

Here is some photos I took 

Monday 9 December 2013

My perfect Chirstmas

Ok I love Christmas! It is by far my favorite time of the year. I love the music, the decorations, lights, food and hanging out with friends and family and basically living really well for the month of December. Beyond all I love why we celebrate Christmas, we were given the best gift of all little baby Jesus. Amazing!

My perfect Christmas stems from my childhood, I want my children to experience that same magic I had as a child. Every year we would watch The Snowman and Father Christmas on Christmas Eve and we would go to bed early and then I would know it was Christmas. I love this and its a tradition I try to keep. It was so special and I think its what has stemmed my obsession love for the Snowman. We then head to our Church where we see all our friends and celebrate Christmas, Its a lovely service every year and everyone brings gifts for friends I love it and so do the kids. We come home get the kids to bed.

I then can't wait for the kids to fall asleep so I can make our front room look like Father Christmas has been. This year we have 3 children I can only assume its going to look crazy (but the inner child in me is going to be so excited) My parents made footprints with flour to make it look like santa has been, even one year to go as far to say a reindeer had a wee on the floor when our dog had done it! I have carried on the tradition with my own children! The door is shut and not to be opened until morning.

I love the idea of the kids waiting outside the door peeking in, saying things like "hes been". My parents we so cruel they wouldn't let us see until we had made them a cup of tea! It makes me smile thinking about it! I just cant wait, then when everyone is up there is a mad dive into the presents. Were one of them families that open all at once, I do not have the patience to leave presents under the tree.

We eat chocolate and laze around helping the kids sort there new toys out. My husband goes round tidying up wrapping paper, gift tags and boxes. Then there is the Christmas dinner to look forward too! I love it Crackers and fun games to play at the dinner table, glass of wine (or a few). Then lounge in front of the tv whilst watching Christmas TV.

I love it so so much, Every year it comes round so quick, I cherish it so much and try to capture as much as I can, to remember the kids whilst they are small, whilst they still believe in the magic. We still have many years of it yet, It definitely makes me feel so so blessed!

 ”Merry Christmas! This post is my entry into the Tots100/Argos 12 Days of Christmas competition.

Wednesday 4 December 2013

Ami your 16 months

Ami your 16 months
your now a big sister
you have been so happy to have a new baby brother
you kiss him ALL the time

your suddenly not so small
you seem like a little giant
still a baby but not so tiny
you also have become so grown up

you have developed the most cheeky smile
and smile lots and mostly always happy
you find it hilarious when you see people wear hats
you are a joy to be around

you have learnt many new words this month
although you are still shy when out you jabber away at home
favorite word at the moment is Stuck 
you love to say it after you have climbed on a chair

you love you brothers 
you love to play and follow Pants 
he is extremely patient when you hit him and pull his hair
you copy everything he does

you love your sleep still and love your bed
you chose which animals to take to bed 
and love to say nun nite to everyone
and give a big kiss

you love your food 
pasta is your favorite
you love to feed your self 
you are so cleaver 

We love you so much Amilinderville 

You sure are one special girl! 

Tuesday 3 December 2013

Guest Blog: 3 great ways to keep your kids happy indoors this winter

As the mum of two very active toddlers the winter months frankly scare me. Especially when I’m trying to juggle launching a business –  - and keep them happy and entertained at the same time and away from Cbeebies. So here are a few activities I’ve found that let us enjoy our time together, minimise cleaning up, and lets their imaginations go wild – indoors!

Way 1: Construct a Den
What you need: kingsize sheet or quilt, large Winged clothes horse, wooden pegs, cushions & little stool, pirate or fairy hat or flag for entrance, torch.

This is a great way to while away the afternoon and gets the kids really proactive in scouring the house for ways to kit out their den. The trick is to let them select the spot and help build it with you. Once you put the clothes horse up you’re ready to go with placing the sheet over it, using pegs to hold it in place and for adding the odd accessory. Make sure you leave a bit of cloth for the door flap as half the fun is sitting in the dark with a torch on.

If you need a ‘winged’ clothes horse (had no idea that’s what I had!) here’s a link

Alternatively Ikea has a great range of quick assemble and affordable tents for under £20. Check here

Way 2: Make an enormous batch of Lalo’s famous cookies
(more like a granola bar than chocolate chip cookies. Healthy and very addictive).
Warning: has almonds.
I’m a terrible cook with very little time. Since having kids I’ve had to learn a lot – from the early days of understanding what a great combo squash and blueberries are for a baby (via ice cube trays), to how to present food in exciting new ways and shapes (broccoli “trees”, pots of “gold treasure” sweetcorn or “wriggly worm” cabbage) so that it’s eaten without fuss.
This is one recipe no one can fail to master. Few ingredients, healthy and so much fun to make together. Put them in a glass jar once cooled and they keep nicely.
Lalo’s Famous Cookies  (from MY FATHER’s DAUGHTER by Gwyneth Paltrow)

What you need
 Aprons, hair-tie, giant bowl, medium wooden spoon, large baking tray, baking sheet and these - Preheat the oven to 350°F.
4 cups barley flour,  3 cups raw whole almonds crushed in a food processor (about ten 2-second bursts), 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1 cup canola oil (also known as Rapeseed oil – I never knew), 1 cup maple syrup, jam (Strawberry, Blueberry, Apricot)
Get the kids to mix all the ingredients, except the jam, in a large bowl with a wooden spoon. My little one uses her fingers to mash it all up which is fine by me (gets a bit messy but entertaining and means two or three kids can all work on it at the same time).
Ask them to roll the mixture into little tablespoon balls and space evenly on baking sheets lined with greaseproof paper. Get the eldest to use their thumb to make an indentation and fill each cookie with a small amount of jam. Bake until cookies are evenly browned, about 20 minutes.

Way 3: Make your own simple Mister Maker bus panel

My kids are mesmerised by Mr Maker and the stuff he can create. If you’re like me you’ll have tons of little boxes and pouches of paints, craft paper, cardboard, pompoms, etc but its always a pain to get them all out and re-pack them.  So a friend who has 3 kids suggested re-creating the Mr Maker bus side out of a quilt.

Here’s how.
Ingredients – large quilt or thick colourful sheet, PVA glue (polyvinyl acetate), large vinyl sheet or plastic pouches, cutter or scissors.  All your arts and craft material from around the house organised just as you’d like it.  You can label each pouch and the kids get very good at remembering exactly where everything goes back when it’s finished with.

If you’re an arts and crafts free household here’s a handy kit to get you started -

I use PVA glue to stick the vinyl to the fabric – again, very little time! If you like to get more creative here’s a useful blog from another mum, Ashley, that explains exactly how to get sewing and make it look professional

Tarika Marshall is mum of two energetic toddlers aged 2 and 4 and COO at Cahootsy, a Q&A site dedicated to products for parents, launching in the UK, and co-founded by her and her husband Paul. Be sure to check out their blog ( or facebook ( ) to follow their story as they prepare to beta launch next week.