I first joined in with the Me and Mine linky back in October with a pic of myself heavily pregnant with Andrew and Izzy at a family wedding. I remember thinking that the next time I joined in there would be another face in the photo and it didn’t seem quite real. Fast forward 4 weeks and its very real. Chloe has arrived and it feels like she has always been here.
I was tempted to use some Instagram filtering magic on this photo to make me look less tired/slimmer etc etc but hey I gave birth 10 days before this was taken and the main thing I notice when looking at it is how happy I look with my small but complete family.
I wish I had discovered this linky earlier in the year as it’s a great idea to take more family photos but I look forward to next years Sibling linky as I already have some fabulous photos of Izzy and Chloe and also the Me and You linky as I would love some more pics of me and my OH.
We are big fans of Kiddicare in our house and use both the online site and our nearest store in Bristol for most baby and toddler purchases so when they offered the opportunity to review a toy ahead of Christmas I eagerly accepted.
The biggest problem I had was deciding which toy Izzy would enjoy the most from the range of fun and imaginative toys on offer.
Luckily with so many of the toys currently at half price on the Kiddicare site I can happily indulge her in a few more.
The toy we eventually chose is the Buzzing Brains Parking Garage currently priced at £24.99.
Buzzing Brains Parking Garage is a three-level parking garage that will keep your child busy for hours. Its great for imaginative play and perfect for driving adventures
Maybe some people wouldn’t order a toy garage for a little girl but I am more than happy for her to play with all toys be it cars or kitchens. She loves playing with cars and the garage went down a storm.
It’s brightly coloured and easy to put together and includes 2 cars to use in the garage. It has parking bays, a working elevator, fuel pumps and traffic lights so lots of ways to keep a toddlers mind and hands busy. It has been pulled apart, put back together and even sat on (not advised) numerous times already and is still standing strong.
The age recommendation for this product is 3years plus but I feel it would be fine for slightly younger toddlers. Izzy is 2yrs and 3 months old and has had hours of fun playing happily with this toy.
I will post some pics of Izzy playing with the garage when I find my memory card! BABY BRAIN.
* we were provided this item for free in exchange for an honest review.
So I haven’t posted a giveaway for a little while.. Mean of me yes?
But I have been kind of distracted .. Having a baby and all that. However you have all be so lovely during my pregnancy and since then that you deserve a treat.
So when the lovely people at Master clothing asked me if I would like to give away one of their super snugly beanies to one of my loyal readers I of course said yes.
I have 4 of these beanies myself.. Yes 4. I’m a little obsessed. I love hats and when I find a good one which suits my head ( you know what I mean ) I buy in bulk and also you need different colours for different outfits etc .. Trying to justify my purchases here.
The beanies are really comfy and stretchy whilst looking stylish and not at all elf like as some beanie hats can be. The colours are fab and they are only £9.99.. I have it in fuchsia, burgundy, red and grey and I kinda want to buy the purple!
If you like your hats or are just generally lazy like me and sometimes have rather just got out of bed hair then I can’t recommend them enough AND if that’s wasn’t enough there is even free UK postage at the mo and I have wangled an extra 20% off for you off the entire site which also includes some pretty cool socks (Fun stocking fillers perhaps?):
just use the discount code MUNCHIES20
To enter simple leave a comment saying which colour is your fave and a winner will be randomly drawn on Monday 9th December at midday.
* A free product as a prize has been given in exchange for this post.
I don’t know about you but I LOVE the smell of Christmas, my Christmas that is. I guess everyone’s Christmas can smell a little different. No I’m not going mad. What does Christmas smell like to you?
My Christmas smells of…
Shortbread baking in the oven..
Christmas candles or my festive scentsy wax gently filling my house with warm cosy gingerbread or cranberry…
Orange and clove pomanders..
A beautiful ham being carved in the kitchen at my mums on Christmas Eve…
Bubble bath.. I seem to have longer, hotter, bubblier baths at Christmas time with special products which smells divine..
Real Christmas trees..
Elizabeth Arden 8hr cream..for those chapped lips and cheeks…
Waffles and Bucks Fizz …
There are probably more I could list but for me the above smells embody my Christmas.
What does your Christmas smell like?
I had no idea how Izzy would react to a new baby arriving in our home. After all she is still very much my baby at 2year old. While I was pregnant she showered my bump with love and kisses but I didn’t think she really understood what it meant. On her first visit to see me and Chloe in hospital I followed advice I’d been given by other second time mums and made sure Chloe was in the cot so she could have a good cuddle with me first.. She didn’t spot the cot initially and after diving onto the bed to cuddle me (Ouch..stitches) I had to point out the baby lying just next to us. Her face was a picture. She exclaimed Oh baby.. And then awwww baby.
Her first cuddle..
Since we have come home she has shown just how besotted she is with her baby sister. Every 5 minutes she runs over to check on ‘baby Chloe’ and is interested in every aspect of her life from feeding to changing nappies. Every new visitor gets dragged to see the baby as soon as they come in and in the morning her voice comes over the monitor demanding to see ‘baby Chloe’.
I never thought my heart could love as much as it does right now. I know the road ahead will be far from smooth.. I have sisters of my own and of course at some point they will fall out and squabble but I know how amazing the relationship can be and I’m so thrilled that they will have each other.
If you have read one of my ramblings about holidays and travel in the past you will know that myself and my other half LOVE to travel and see the world. When I got pregnant with Izzy everyone told me that this would change as its just too hard with children but I see no reason to stop. You can read more about our travels here.The last year we haven’t been abroad at all mainly due to me having such a problematic pregnancy but we are really looking forward to lots of travels over the next year or two and can’t wait for our first trip as a family of four!
Pre baby in Paris…
Pregnant in Portugal..
With Baby Izzy in Lacanau, France..
When I was asked to collaborate on this post it got me to thinking about some really beautiful places that we are yet to visit which are also close to other destinations that we would like to go to and perhaps plan a trip visiting three of Europe’s most beautiful cities in a week.
Prague, Vienna and Budapest are all beautiful, rich in history and culture, with something to please all tastes and ages.
Beginning your trip in Prague, you can soak up the many museums, galleries and restaurants, in a heavily pedestrianized city that’s easy to get around. Keep your little ones entertained with a trip to Vytopna Railway Restaurant, situated on Wenceslas Square. Not only do they offer great food at affordable prices, but a 400m miniature railway runs around the whole restaurant, and even delivers drinks to your table.
A visit to the visually stunning Charles Bridge is essential, which is littered with street vendors selling food and trinkets – just my kinda thing. If we want to avoid the crowds, then we should get there for dawn and enjoy an amazing sunrise overlooking the Vlatva River. Petrin Hill is another area worth visiting, with its vast green space and its beautiful gardens. The Church of Saint Michael and even a miniature version of the Eiffel Tower.
Famous for its classical music, ballet and architectural history, Vienna also welcomes children with open arms and most places worth visiting are made to appeal to youngsters as much as adults. You could spend an entire day at Schonbrunn Palace, which features a palace tour, the worlds oldest zoo and a childrens museum. Here, your children can dress up in imperial costumes and play with toys, and then take them outside to explore the Maze and Labyrinth.
Many of Vienna’s greatest experiences are only accessible by car, the majority of roads throughout are well-treated both in urban and rural environments.
“It’s a fact that driving around Vienna is very popular as many of the roads offer some of the best views in the whole of Europe. It would be wise avoiding using the vehicles horn in Vienna or near hospitals as you may easily receive a fine. It is illegal to overtake school buses when the yellow lights on the vehicle are flashing. Also know warning triangle, first-aid kit and reflective vest must be kept in the car at all times. They are considered essentials and there are chances to receive a fine”
according to Mike Callaghan a spokesperson and Head of Argus car hire
If visiting Budapest for the first time, you may want to take a cruise down the Danube River, where you will enjoy panoramic views of the city. You can check out the crown jewels at Hungary’s Parliament building, and take a walk across the Chain Bridge, the first to connect Buda to Pest. Youngsters will be spellbound by The Palace of miracles, which is an interactive science museum designed for kids, located in the Campona Shopping Mall. Highlights include the simulated, low-gravity ‘moonwalk’ and the ‘miracle bike’.
Watch out for the pennies..
If you’ve had a busy day sightseeing with a group of hungry, restless kids in tow, the temptation to dive into the nearest restaurant is all too tempting sometimes. Try going off the beaten track a little, and you will find more authentic food at cheaper prices. Find somewhere with a free Wi-Fi connection and check out the top bars and eateries on Trip Advisor. When driving for extended periods of time, try grab some food from a local mini mart to avoid shelling out at petrol stations.
Avoid child road rage
Having one or more children in a car for an extended period of time can really test your patience, especially on foreign roads. If they don’t have access to a portable games console or tablet, there are other ways to keep them quiet, or at least entertained – we all know a quiet child is usually up to no good. Lots of tips on keeping some calm in the car in my post from earlier this year on car travel
As kids love to talk about themselves, ask them questions which will open up debate and stimulate their mind at the same time-this won’t work for babies obviously . Also don’t forget to download and print off our very own kids eBook packed with games and activities to keep them from uttering that famous, and very annoying question ‘Are we nearly there yet?’.
*This is a PR collaboration.
When I was asked if I wanted to review some hobbycraft goodies it couldn’t have come at a better time. I was heavily pregnant when the items arrived and looking for fun activities to do with my toddler that didn’t require masses of energy.
We were sent a Make your own Felt Penguin decoration kit
The Felt Penguin kit is really cute although perhaps not really suitable for Izzys age group haha. We had lots of fun with it but it didn’t really work for us but again the fun was in the attempt. Definitely be fun for children of about 4years and upwards maybe even make extras as gifts for grandparents.
The card making kit which contains 5 cards is something I am going to attempt by myself as I have lots of friends with babies due in the next few months but Izzy and her dad are going to make one for me and new baby Chloe this weekend so I will share a pic then of the finished product.
I’m also going to order this Owl doorstop as Izzy is currently obsessed with owls.
There are lots more decoration crafty kits..something to suit everyone really. Click here to see the full range.
* I was sent these items for free in exchange for an honest review.
Woohoo it’s already time to start getting excited about Camp Bestival 2014!!
The theme has just been announced and its all about the circus…this is what the main man had to say:
Camp Bestival Ringmaster Rob da Bank says: “Roll up, roll up, it’s circus time at Camp Bestival! Right from the start of putting on parties, back in the old days, we’ve always loved a bit of circus ballyhoo, no party is complete without a juggler or an acrobat, a hula-hooper or a contortionist and we promise that Camp Bestival 2014 won’t disappoint. We can’t wait here at Camp Besti HQ to get into the ring, so grab your greasepaint, get your costumes ready and we’ll see you at the end of July to kick off the school summer holidays in style. In the meantime, make sure you open all the doors on our brilliant advent calendar, there are some amazing Christmas surprises in store for some lucky Camp Bestivalites!”
If you know you don’t want to miss out on the festivities there is a fab payment plan to enable you to spread the cost over 25 weeks.
For more info click here
Camp Bestival 2014 Tickets:
Ticketline / 0844 888 4410
Adult Weekend Ticket (inc. camping) – £195
Adult Tickets are for anyone aged 18 or over on 31/07/2014
Student Weekend Ticket (inc. camping) – £180
Student Tickets are for Students with valid ID between 31/07/2014
Age 15 to 17 Weekend Ticket (inc. camping) – £113
Age 15 to 17 Weekend Tickets are for anyone aged 15 to 17 on 01/08/2014. These ticket holders must be accompanied by a Ticket holding parent or guardian over the age of 30*
Age 11 to 14 Weekend Ticket (inc. camping) – £88
Age 11 to 14 Weekend Tickets are for anyone aged 11 to 14 on 01/08/2014. These ticket holders must be accompanied by a Ticket holding parent or guardian over the age of 26*
* NB: All teens (aged 11 to 17) MUST camp in the same area as their families with a maximum of 2 teens per adult (over the age of 26)
Age 5 -10 Weekend Ticket (inc. camping) – £20
These ticket holders must be accompanied by a Ticket holding parent or guardian over the age of 21*
Age 4 and Under Weekend Ticket (inc. camping) – FREE (but ticket still required)
Age 4 and Under Weekend Tickets are for anyone aged 4 and under on 31/07/2014. These ticket holders must be accompanied by a Ticket holding parent or guardian over the age of 21*
Camping Plus Plot – £125
Advance Car Parking – £11
Campervan Ticket – £72 per vehicle
Caravan/Trailer tent ticket (includes a car parking space) – £83
- will incur a booking fee.
- are non-transferable and cannot be re-sold.
Do you know when you taste something so good that you think all other similar items will be ruined for you? That was how I felt when I bit into a treacle tart from my Hotel Chocolate Christmas Goody bag…woweeeeee.
I’m quite fussy with Chocolates and often I prefer a good old double decker to any kind of posh choc but when I had an email from Hotel Chocolat last week the day after giving birth the offer of some lovely treats was too hard to resist and I’m so glad I said yes. I’ve never tried Hotel Chocolat products before but I think there is little question that I will again.
I was sent this:
Chocolate goodies specially selected for Christmas – bagged and bowed and ready for you to unwrap, including a 50% Cookie & Caramel Wreath, 6 Christmas Mess Chocolates, 6 Treacle Tart Chocolates and a trio of milk chocolate Santas.
My favourite so far is the Treacle Tart..it was like biting into silky chocolate heaven. Everything else is pretty delicious too and this would be such a lovely gift for someone special or you know you could just order one for yourself
I thoroughly enjoyed reviewing this chocolate.. My only problem now is how do I go back to the normal stuff?
* this item was received for free in exchange for a review.