Friday 31 July 2015

Me and Mine - July

Where has July gone? I know I say this every month but this month has flown. We have yet another busy month juggling work and family life. Im glad its finally the summer holidays at long last and look forward to many sunny days ahead (one can hope).

Me and the kids have been volentering at an event in our area called Scripture union. My parents sent me and my sisters as kids so I have been going since I was small. I love it still now its such good fun, so have the kids they have had a blast. I am not there now though sadly back (it's my birthday today too)  to work then six whole days off! Woo woo!

This Month Daddy is loving-
- West Witering Beach
- Family time 
- Fun Work Opportunities 

Mummy is loving - 
- Scripture Union
- being with my family
- Sunny Days

Asti is loving -
- No school for six weeks
-making new friends
- being given more freedom aka crossing the road on his own. 

Ami is loving -
- Her birthday coming up
- Sports day at nursery
- tiddlers at scripture union 

Son Son is loving
- Making new friends
- lots of cuddles
- starting to say words. 

We used our new camera for the photos and got someone else to take it always a risk especially when you have set up the photo then they take a step back! No beach this month sorry guys.

Thursday 30 July 2015

Peppa Pig Weebles Pull along Wobbily Train Review

We recently got sent the Peppa Pig Weebles Pull along train to review, which the kids have loved. The train comes with a weeble Peppa pig along with a train with space for two more weebles in the little carriages. We had a Zoe Zebra that we found in a toy sale which fitted into the train just fine. Son Son loves trains almost as much as he loves Peppa pig so I knew he would just love it.

They had great joy in putting the figures in the train and watch them wobble around when they pulled the train along. The great thing is they never fall down, well I say great unless your a toddler who is trying to get peppa pig to have a sleep and she keeps on popping up.

Perfect for children over 18 months to help develop some of these fine motor skills. Son Son loved to take them in and out of the train, he also loved to push the train super fast so they fell out. Ami also loved to play with the set too. You can play with Peppa on her own too, we have a different weeble set with a slide which they enjoyed dropping Peppa of in the train to play with.

The weebles Peppa pig toys are interchangeable with all other sets too, meaning you can grow your collecting in no time. The weebles are quite heavy so I did have to supervise Son Son as he likes to throw anything that looks like a ball, and he has the best aim so he would cause some damage.

This is the perfect toy for any Peppa pig fan, plenty of room for imagination and role play.  My children have loved playing with it and its a firm favourite with any child who comes round to play.  This set retails at £17.99 which is a great price for the amount they have played with it.

Saturday 25 July 2015

Fun at the Octopus Gardens - Dreamland

MMI When I was a teenager I remember dreamland closing and is as kids thinking what were we going to do. It really saw a moment where Margate started to go a bit downhill, but over the last few years Margate has thought to re open dreamland and work very hard at making a wonderful sea side town. It's on the up and it's great to see.

We visited Dreamlnd as we heard about a fantastic new play area so of we went to check it out. Walking through the main entrance I was reminded of childhood memories walking through with my parents on carnival day. It looks fab in side the building the team behind it has worked very hard on the apprence and the branding. We couldn't access the amusement park but spotted the feris wheel through the windows. Ami said she defiantly didn't want to go in there. So trough the vintage amusement parks we made it to the octopus gardens. 

We have plenty of soft play areas in our area all ranging from different things you can do but this was something else. I usually suffer with time going so slow in these places but here it went by in a flash. As you walk in you are greated by a row of trees and a cute vintage cafe. My children didn't know what to do first. There is so much you can do and so many little rooms to explore. One of the first things we did was pop into the circus skills room where the children got to practice juggling and plate spinning. Along side that there was a make up room and a dressing up room so you can pretend to get ready for the circus. 

Round the corner to that there's some more little rooms. One with some cars and play tools for the children to pretend to be mechanics. Then a soft play area for the babies with little ball pools. A little shop equipped with trolleys and food. Even a till Ami was in her element. Oh and not to forget the turbot contempary gallery a whole room dedicated to drawing the walls painted in blackboard paint and the children are allowed to draw all over the walls. 

It carries on and on and if that's not enough it has two sand pits one with little beach huts that were the cutest things ever. For me it was the finishing touches like little brooms in the huts to sweep up. One beach hut had play food and a cooler and the other full of books about the sea. Next to this sand pit was a Punch and Judy stand where the children could put on little shows. The next sandpit had massive sandcastles in and Son Son's favourite part a light house with some seagulls that every now and then spun round, he loved them as they had ice creams in thier mouths. 

It continues to have a soft play area and a massive slide, a little allotment and pretend cabbage patch. A little hill too that you could roll down and wheel barrows alongside that. It really was the most creative and fun play area I have ever been too. The details were superb and really made it extra special. We had such a fun time and will be going back again. Also you can get local fruit juice for a £1 bargain. There were so many staff who happily played with the children and encouraged little games. Really made a difference, one lady played for ages hiding the crabs in the sand and letting the children find them. 

Well done dreamland you have done a fab job with the octopus gardens. We look forward to exploring more what's on offer their too. 

Friday 24 July 2015

Dora and Friends Sing-a-long and Dora Toy Review

Have you seen Dora lately she’s moved to the city and suddenly got more grown up (and may I say tolerable). My children are big Nick Jr fans and love anything they show on that channel with Dora in the City being one of their faves. What’s great that at the moment Nick Jr are running 3 hours of Sing Along with Dora. Its not just Dora its all the other characters too, I have looked like the coolest mum ever lately singing along to the songs. OK maybe not coolest and the toddlers told me to be quiet  but one day soon I am hoping. 

Whats even more fun is the new range of Dora and friends toy range. To celebrate this many Smyths Toy Superstores accorss the country where your children are invited to sing along with Dora. The booths will be at some sky stands as well as smyth stores too where your child can make a video of them singing along with Dora and her friends. Im personally practicing my spanish so I can join in too (if I am aloud to by the toddlers).

The booths will be at the following places. We will be at the Westwood Cross Dora sing along next Tuesday. Very Excited.. I mean the kids are. Well all except my eldest who will be embarrassed. 

Waterfields Retail Park, Watford (Dora costume Character) 27th July
Westwood Cross Shopping Park, Thanet - 28th July
St Davids Retail Park, Swansea - 29th July
Crown Retail Park, Leeds, (Dora costume Character) 31st July
Clifton Moor Retail Park, York (Dora costume Character) 3rd August
Ravenhead Retail Park, St Helens, 5th August
Halls Mill Retail Park, Bury, 6th August
Middle engine Lane, Wallsend, 10th August
Glasgow Fort Shopping Park, Glasgow (Dora costume Character) 12th August
Boulevard Retail Park, Aberdeen, (Dora costume Character) 14th August

The Centre MK, Milton Keynes 25th-26th July
White Rose, Leeds 1st-2nd August
Intu Eldon Square, Newcastle 8th-9th August
Bon Accord, Aberdeen, 15th-16th August

We also got sent a fab range of Dora toys which have had my toddlers fighting over for days. That is always a good sign they loved the Dora and Kate Dolls the most which I had to keep on separating in order for the squabbling to subside. They came in the most fabulous hamper it was like Christmas, the hamper included the Dora and Kate Doll as mentioned above, Dora’s magic charm bracelet, the Dora Smartphone and Dora’s Adventure Charms

The Dolls are 8” tall and both have a tiny dog charm to go onto the charm bracelet. They also have little shoes that fall off constantly so I taped them on in the end. The outfits are the same as on the tv and the have moveable parts. They were the firm favourite with Ami and Son Son, they both love little dolls at the moment Son Son kept on kissing them which got him told off by Ami. They are only £10.99 which I think is rather reasonable.

The hamper also contained the magic charm bracelet too, which if you have seen the show (guilty) she uses her charm bracelet to solve her little problems in the City. They also come with two extra ones which if your not a greedy toddler who hates sharing you could possibly share. There is a wide range for your child to attach to eh bracelet. The charm bracelet retails at £9.99. 

Another favourite with my two toddlers was Doras smartphone. Ami at 2 is always saying she doesn’t have a phone and she was ecstatic. When you press it is plays an array of ringtones and phrase from the show. Son Son pretends its Nanna not that she is spanish or sounds remotely like her but he loves it too. 

We also received another Dora Magic Adventure charms which contains a little Dora and another bracelet. This meant they could have one each but I did have to hide the little figure before the fights erupted over who gets baby Dora. This set is only £7.99 perfect for a little party gift. 

So if you are looking for something to entertain the children in the summer holidays head on down to a event near you and try and get a selfie with Dora. 

Monday 20 July 2015

Day out to Wingham Wildlife Park

The other day we went on a little trip to Wingham for wildlife park, which is a little zoo not to far from where we live. I just knew the toddlers would love it well Son Son especially he loves all animals, Ami I thought would be a bit reserved and Asti would be his usual cool 8 year old self.

We went with Grandad as Daddy was busy working which is handy he is always happy to push the pushchair meaning I can chase one or both toddlers and Asti around all day. We haven't been for a few years but the amount of different animals as grown and they have new chimps and lions since we last visited. The first place we visited was the butterflies and tropical area. This ended up being slightly hilarious as Ami was so scared of all the butterflies and birds. It took her a while to calm down and she wouldn't go near any of the animals in their. Son son was fascinated with it all and Asti wanted to catch a butterfly. We looked at the bats and headed toward the replies.

Ami much preferred the reptiles behind there cages than the butterflies and her and Asti took great delight running round and spotting all the animals. Ami was amazed at a 2 foot long crocodile. This was Asti's favourite room he wanted to go round again. son son loved to look in the cages and bash them he was happy just looking with grandad.

We looked at all the different animals from meercats to goats. The lions were asleep but the Tigers were very much awake. They prowled round the cage back and forth till collapsing in the warm sun.

A firm favourite for all of us is always the Penguins. However smelly they are every time. I let son son out so he could see the animals properly but he went feral and was running around. Trying to climb in with the penguins and generally making sure I wasn't stood still for too long.

Ami's favourite was a little monkey who had a little toy monkey. It was very cute and loved Ami too. We were stood watching this monkey for a good 30 minutes as it did little tricks for Ami and the kids. It took them round to a glass window where it then did break dancing and throwing the teddy and catching it. We couldn't get Ami away she loved it it was very sweet. By this time it was late afternoon and the party was very quiet meaning we had it to ourselves most of the time.

We also got a ice cream and the children had a play in the massive play area. Poor Son Son was a little but too small so I helped him round as he tried to keep up with his elder siblings.

We had a lovely afternoon with all the different animals really made a nice change. We love to see the animals even if my children did feed the coats hoola hoops! Doh.

Monday 13 July 2015

Evening family traditions at Margate Beach

Two years ago we popped into Margate one evening the sun was shining and we thought we would grab an ice cream and play on the beach. It was after bedtime but the evening was warm we didn't want to waste the evening, it was then we started a little tradition well I say tradition we've done it for the third year now. We found this little place on Margate seafront that sells fabulous crepes and ice cream. 

This year I did not get round to taking any pictures at the cafe as Son Son played up like toddlers do and taking a photo was the last thing I could think of doing. I took the toddlers off to the beach whilst my hubby and Asti finished off all the pancakes in peace. 

We do love Margate they really have made an effort here especially in the old town and dreamland opening up. The beach in its self was surprisingly quiet for a warm evening but that's always nice having the beach to your self. The only people on the beach seemed to be the metal detector people which my husband takes great delight in throwing coins behind them, the wally! 

The boys enjoyed running round whilst me and Ami dug a massive hole in the sand. We hoped to see part of a sun set but it was a bit cloudy so we didn't see the sun set to all its beauty. Although some of these photos the sky does look rather awesome and these are just of my iPhone (yes in a family with two DSLR's now we still don't use them!!). Although when we were on the beach some random people turned up doing what looked like a arty photo shoot Ami the was like "why has that lady got no clothes on under her coat" urm look away kids think it's time to go. 

There is something special about getting in late and putting the children to bed when they are so tired from adventures. They go to bed with massive smiles from memories they have made. Sand still in their hair, in need of a bath but that can wait till the next day. They are happy and that's all that counts. We are so blessed I say it a lot on this blog, to live here. Such an amazing place to grow up, to learn about playing, to be learn to be free. It's great and I love it so.

I hope to have more random nights out with my little brood, unexpected is my favourite. Good ice cream that's the hubby's favourite. Days together a few with busy working parents it's nice to be the five of us. 

So thank you Margate for a lovely evening on the beach. We all enjoyed it and the crepes when the toddlers let us.

Friday 10 July 2015

Stone Beaches and Making Memories

Life is speeding by so fast seriously where is this year going, I thought I would share some photos of when we went camping a few weekends back. Well not so much the camping more the toddlers being on a stone beach. Sometimes I take photos and they stay on my laptop left unseen.

See I love taking photos but hardly ever have the opportunities, I have switched to using the iPhone as a back up but they are not the same as a DSLR photo. My little ones hate the camera they never smile. They ignore me and pretend that it doesn't exist. 

These photos were taken by the beach at Kingsdown campsite in Deal. We had gone down to the sea to watch some people within our church get baptised in the Sea which is always good fun. Asti was off playing with his friends so it was just me and the toddlers for a while, as Matt filmed the baptisms. It was hard work they just wanted to throw stones for ages. At each other, at other people and at me! 

We love the beach though even if its stones, we love being by the sea, hearing the waves crash into shore. Having the sea breeze on our faces. Its a blessing to live so close to so many different beaches. I will always enjoy my time living round the coast. You never know where life will take you but I love it here. I don't know any better. Life is good, life is busy but its good to remember these times. The moments that maybe didn't last long but the kids loved it. Those memories are worth a lifetime.

So heres a few more photos that I took from our short time on the beach. The last being our monthly family photo. 

I love my little Family