Monday 30 March 2020

Life As We Know it.

Sorry, it been a very long while, I kind of fell out of love with my little blog as you can probs tell from the lack of posts on here in the last few years. I checked in the recent about us section to see that in fact, I stated that Asti was 8... when he is now 13!!

So here we are 2020. In the most strange year, everyone all over the world has faced. We went from one week having all the kids at school and the next having to home school them. I am currently a neonatal nurse and have been moved hospitals and there is even the chance that I will be moved to an adult ward if needed. It's a scary time for all us working in the NHS.

I thought now would be a good time to start with this little blog. Document this special time and remember the time when the world stood still and people fought over loo roll.

Home Schooling is going somewhat almost nonexistent. I feel myself under a lot of pressure to do stuff and almost don't know where to start. I am struggling to provide the content and engagement of my children and feel sorry for my eldest who is in year 8. I am not strict about making them do much work. Take today they did 30 mins math, 30 mins English and that was it. I cried as I felt the pressure of it all.

On top of that, I am still working as a nurse, my poor husband is attempting to work from home. He has his office set up in one of the kid's bedroom and the hardest thing is getting him to finish in time for the kids to go to bed. Although I am very grateful to be able to work and we both have our jobs, I know that's not the case across the country. Work for me is almost a break and I have never enjoyed it more. It is the only time I have away from the family and as stressful as work is I can't bring it home.

On Sunday is my mothers 60th Birthday which should have been a special day with a lunch out and family time together but all that has been scrapped. My mother is a carer and is covering colleagues as who may be self-isolating themselves. It's a tough old time for everyone. I am gutted for her to be fair. Will get the kids to draw lots of pictures and we will post it round there for Sunday.

So that's life at the moment. Poor kids who are wondering whats going on, why they can't see their friends. It's hard for them too and as much as I think these times are tough it's not forever,

Monday 12 August 2019

Schleich Horse Club Review

 In our house the kids love to try new toys, we have had Schleich toys before and we have always been of the best quality so when we were asked to review The Horse Club Riders Cafe I knew it would be something that the kids would enjoy playing with.
myself and the kids couldn’t wait to get inside the box and open the Riders Café. It is a complete playset with moveable figures and over 60 parts. The reason we like Schleich is that they are a such a trusted toy brand and all the figurines are hand-painted with amazing detail.  
Schleich Cafe
As I was putting the Riders Cafe together it looked like some toy that I would dream of. The detail of the parts and the fact that is is inside and the outside too. The breakfast bar has such details right down to the breakfast bar which has mini glasses and coffee cups. The cafe is named 'Cup and saddles" which is cute.
The box comes with two figures, Tom and Emily. Tom has striaght legs so cant ride the horses but Emily is posed in a seated postion to be able to ride the horses. It is a shame they both cant ride the horse and have Emily stand up too. The set up was rather simple with an instruction manual to guide you. IT was good fun building actually I did it when the kids were in bed in order to surprise them. When together the building is rather sturdy. The counter has a little oven that opens and a coffe achine and a till and even plates and miniature cups. For outdoor cafe play there is an A-board advertising the food with tables, chairs and even a parasol for the customers to relax under.
Thr Riders Café would not be complete without a place to tether the horses and it includes a small fence with added brackets to add other Schleich fences as well. I love all the horse accessories that come with the play set like the bridle, reins, trough and apples.
The connectivity between this Schleich Horse Club Rider Café and other Horse Club buildings can be seen from the website and we like the colours used. MY children have used other figures in the cafe in order to make it busy. It has been out for a good few weeks and has been played with daily. 
The Schleich Horse Club Rider Café is suitable for little ones aged 5+ and has an RRP of £39.99. It can be purchased from good toy shops and online.
The entire Schleich Horse Club range can be found on the Schleich website and the kids loved playing with this cafe, I’m sure it’s going to bring a lot of joy over the summer holidays!

Tuesday 2 July 2019

Bedtime Routines with Baby Annabell

When my children were all babies we always had a strong bedtime routine, not only did it help my own peace of mind but also helped the babies settle to sleep. Now working as a neonatal nurse I work in an environment where we have routines with our babies in order to make them feel safe. We were recently sent some products from the Baby Annabell sweet dreams collection in order to show my little ones bedtime routines and play there most favourite game of babies. 

We were sent a Baby Annabell Little baby fun Doll which was one in the collection that they didn't already have. The baby measures 36cm and is a lot smaller than the other baby Annabell doll. The doll includes a little romper, hat, bottle nappy and cloth, The nappy is reusable which I think is a great addition as won't lose the stickiness and good for the environment.

We were also sent the baby Annabell Sweet dreams rocker perfect accessory for any baby Annabell doll. Its stylish and light (it's even come camping with us for the little babies). It rocks side to side very smoothly and the little ones were over the moon to have somewhere to put a sleeping baby. Along with all those goodies we were also sent a little outfit to help them transition from day to night.

When my children were babies I followed the same routine with all three of them, some slept betters than others but it always helped us unwind and help them to feel safe. They knew what was coming and always settled. It was a simple few steps that we could go anywhere.

The first step would be a bath, a lovely warm bath after dinner. After this would be a clean nappy and fresh PJs. This was always my favourite time when they are all fresh and clean and snuggly. It would then be milk time and a cuddle and story before settling them in their bed ready for the night.

 So I explained this to them and they wanted to play mums and dads. Ami decided to change the baby into her nighttime clothes and feed the baby before putting it in the rocker. They play this game all the time, feed and put to sleep. Its almost like they remember what happened to them as babies.

I love watching them role-playing being parents it always makes me feel a bit emotional how careful they can be. They take lots of care and always put there all into their little games. I hope that its learnt behaviour and they love babies so much they must get that from me because I do love babies (Hence why I work with babies).

We have had these toys for a few weeks and no word of a lie they have been playing with them most days. They Rocker is holding out even with sometimes having 4 babies in at a time. It's lightweight so they take it around with them easily. We have had lots of little ones be attached to the little Annabel too. She's not as big as the others we have so sat nicely when you hold her. I think I like her as she is more the premmie size I am used to at work.

So here's a summary of our simple routine.

  • Warm Bath
  •  Fresh Pyjamas and nappy
  • cuddles and milk
  • Story 
  • Place in the cot for bedtime. 
Simple yet effective. It's been a pleasure to have the opportunity to play with these toys. We were sent these products in purpose of a review all content is my own.  

Sunday 17 March 2019

National Slime Day with Glam Goo

Did you know there was such as thing as national slime day? Well now you do and that day is today. We have decided to celebrate by reviewing some of the fantastic Glam goo products there is available (PS we were sent these to review). We were sent two sets the Deluxe Pack and the Confetti Set both sets contatining enough sparkles and slime to keep Ami entertained.

Confetti Set

If you have children at the moment then if you are like me you  have been asked to make slime? If you are anything like me then you will find that you are awful at making slime and best stick to the people who know best. The first set we tried out was the confetti set which contains the ever so exciting fluffy slime. In the set comes lots of confetti and plastic balls to add into the slime too.

The set comes with all the added extras including dry paint to change the colour of the slime. Ami really enjoyed getting her hands messy and mixing all the different varieties together. We followed the instructions on the box that said if it was too sticky to add baking soda which made it into the perfect consistency. Lets not forget the scent too which made the slime smell lovely too.

The set comes with a little bracelet and a keying that can hold a little bit of slime in to. Although we did this and the slime fell out. This Confetti set retails at £15 and is a available in all toy shops. Ami really enjoyed mixing it all together and it wasn't as messy as I thought.

Deluxe Pack

The Glam Goo set is perfect for all children (as long as they are old enough to know not to eat it) the idea of it is that you can personalise it by using sprinkles and colours to make it your own. Also comes with a scent to make it smell unique. The set comes with a large resealable tub of clear goo, a scent bottle, 3 sprinkle tubes, 2 tubs of coloured dust, a stirrer, a ring container and the bag container.

The idea is to create your own goo and slime using the different components in the box. The set also comes with a leaflet that has some recipes inside. All the glitters come with different names and different colours and textures. Ami likes the colourful unicorn tears the most. Although she poured it all in one of the boxes in the sets by accident. 

The set also comes with a ring that you can fill with your favourite slime. Although when we put the slime in the ring it opened and spilt all over the carpet!! Thankfully wasn't too hard to clean up. The bag also allows you to seal your creations inside. 

I have to admit we found the glam goo very sticky although I did read in the leaflet that you can add some bicarb to change the texture.  The kids had lots of fun playing with it and I have found bits of it all over the kitchen. 
Glam Goo (RRP: £29.99) is available at all good toy shops

SO with our reviews I hope you get out there and create some slime adventures to celebrate National slime day.

Monday 25 February 2019

Teenie Tiny Toes interactive Doll Review

There is one thing in our house that always goes down a storm and that's anything to do with babies. My younger two play babies all day Ami being the mum Son Son the Dad. They love all sorts of doll's so when we were asked to review some Tiny interactive dolls I knew it would be right up there street. 

 We tried out the  Teenie Tiny Toes they are small interactive dolls that fit in the palm of your hand, measuring just 11cm from head to toe. Each doll comes with 6 different sensors that react to touch, motion and light. There is three in the collection which includes Ticklish Tess, Gigglin Gabby and laughin Luna. 

Ami and Son Son loved the dolls as soon as they saw them. They said are these babies as small as the babies at your work. Thankfully they are just a little bit smaller than my babies. The dolls come included with batteries which is a bonus making them ready to play with straight away. 

They were quick to work out what the babies did Son Son liked to make his baby burp where Ami thought it was sweet to rock her baby to sleep. Together they worked out what each baby did and even how to play peekaboo. 

Touch the dolls back and she will burp.  Touch the left cheek for kissing noises.  There is a light sensor near the hat which, when covered and uncovered activates peekaboo sounds.  To put the dolls to sleep you have to rock them backwards and forwards in your hand a few times.  There is also a sensor on the bottom of the tummy and right foot for other sounds.

Son Son and Ami were over the moon that they are so interactive. They are also so cute the way they move there arms and legs. It is a good way of encouraging them with there role play. 

The dolls are made out of plastic and hopefully durable we will see in a few weeks. They retail at £14.99 which I think is good value for a little doll that does a lot of things. Check out this link to find out more about Teenie Tiny Toes

Friday 8 February 2019

Thomas the Tank Engine Ravensburger Puzzle Review

My Son Son loves puzzles, especially floor sized puzzles. Out of all of his toys and games, he always picks a puzzle, his favourite being a space ship one. So when we were asked to review a Thomas the tank engine puzzle I knew he would love it. 

The puzzle we were sent was a 24 piece giant Thomas the Tank Engine floor puzzle. Aimed at children aged 3 plus its the perfect size for smaller children. The puzzle is based on the latest movie Thomas in Big World Adventures. It shows Rebecca joining the Sodor steam team aka "Steamies" It features other favourites like Thomas, Rosie, Percy Gordon and James not to forget Harold the helicopter. 

My kids have loved Thomas especially Ast who had all the toys and we spent hours watching the show when he was small. Sadly he is now 12 and is far too cool for Thomas the Tank engine puzzles. 

Son Son was keen to start putting the pieces together he started on the edges working from the outside in. The colours are bright making finding the pieces easy for little people. The puzzle is made of good quality cardboard. It's strong and finished with a linen finish to minimise the glare on the puzzle. 
Ravensburger is known for there good quality products. They have over 100 years of experience of manufacturing puzzles. All of the puzzles are stamped to such precision that all the pieces fit in beautifully. 

Thomas & Friends Big World Big Adventures Giant Shaped Floor Puzzle has 24 pieces and is suitable for ages 4+ and available from Amazon and all good toy shops. You can find more of our reviews on Ravensburger puzzles and games. All in all, we were lovers of the puzzle. Especially Son Son who has made it a few times over the last few weeks. 

Tuesday 18 December 2018

Cinderella at the Marlowe Theatre

There is one thing I haven't done since I was a child is going to a panto. Seriously isn't it a Christmas tradition? Well, I just haven't been as I thought it may be something I wasn't interested in but I was so so wrong. Seriously everywhere you go its Panto season (oh yes it is). We were gifted some tickets to see the show and even meet Buttons and Cinderella at the end. Ami and Son Son were far too excited and inundated them with questions. 

I have heard that the Marlowe theatre has a reputation of being one of the best pantos around and it was no exception we laughed from start to finish. My children came with me Ast (12) Ami (6) and Son Son aged 5 all came along too. Ast wasn't too sure being too cool for Pantomimes but he had such a good time.  He said his favourite part was the pun jokes which since I have heard is a tradition at the Marlowe. The pantomime brings both the traditional story of Cinderella creating both old and new story together. 

The Panto had some things you would expect such as silly costumes, ghosts in the woods and songs to sing along too. There are lots of highlights too including a real pony on stage which was Ami's favourite part. Also a very quick on-stage dress change with Cinderella which I thought was ever so clever. Let's not forget the wheelbarrow of puns which includes 35 Disney themed puns at a quick speed. 

My children were excited too because Mister Maker (Phil Gallagher) was in the panto too. He was hilarious in the show and even came up with some on the spot jokes which made the show even more fun. Other stars include Ben from Eastenders and Cories Sally Linsay. Other actors from the Westend (although they don't like to talk about it). Let's not forget the aerial silk display which my children were on the edge of there seats for. 

One of my favourite things was the hilarious comedy Dames Donaldina and Melania. The ugly sisters in Cinderella. They provided some wonderful costumes and witty jokes. The timing was just perfect and they really made the show in my book. They even picked on a poor audience member which we all found hilarious. 

 By the end of the show, we were all standing in our seats having a dance. For me it as the best show I have seen in a long while. We laughed throughout and even Son Son stayed put on his seat which is no mean feat. Check out the Marlowe website and see if there are any cheeky tickets left as its running until the 6th of January or if not why not book for next years mother Goose.