Sunday, 22 December 2013

Making a Ginger-Bread Christmas Tree... and not eating it


My kids don't like ginger bread. They might peck at it but every year it is just a novelty that we make a ginger bread house. We usually buy one, it costs about £5, we spend about half an hour putting it together, it sits in the kitchen on display for a week and then goes in the bin. This is ridiculous, I know. But they just like making the house, not eating it. This is where making this cheap, easy ginger bread Christmas tree came in really handy!

OK, I know this is not a conventional "Mum does baking with kids" post but so what. You know what we're like by now!

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Review: The Richmond Liverpool

As you know, having three children makes it really difficult for me and Warren to have time together and just switch off. I am often complaining about being stuck in and we do go a long time without spending real quality time together outside the house. However, Christmas is the one occasion where we definitely make time for ourselves. Instead of spending money on gifts for each other that we may not need, we tend to spend our money on spending time together. We organise a Christmas night out, and like to spend the night away from home in a hotel. We don't usually go very far with the children being still very young - usually Manchester or Liverpool. This time we were really excited to be invited to review The Richmond in Liverpool. An absolute Christmas treat for us both.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

A Guest Post: A Weekend With My 4 Kids

Back HomeThis is a guest post from a Dad blogger. I thought it would be a lovely change to hear from some of the male bloggers, I'm sure you might be sick of me banging on about Mum-stuff.

This is from Danny who writes at http://dannyuk.com/ - Do check out his blog if you want to read more.
 

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Giveaway - £50 Voucher with Experience Days!

'Time For Her' Bannatyne Spa DayI am really excited to be able to do a giveaway with these chaps! They have very kindly offered a £50 gift voucher towards one of their experiences on their website.

This is taken from their website www.experiencedays.co.uk

"Experience Days is the home of experience gifts and experience days in the UK. Spoil them with a track day driving a Ferrari, pamper them with a spa day or a fantastic flying day!"

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Giveaway: Infacare Ultra Mild Baby Bath Stash!

infaCare - Baby Bath Ultra-Mild bottleI am very pleased to collaborate with the chaps at Infacare to bring you this great giveaway. Infacare is a mild and pH balanced baby bath. It makes loads of bubbles, and a little goes a long way!
If you are like me, you will love bathtime with the kids. We tend to put Rosie and Alice in together and make it all bubbly and smelling gorgeous for them. We chuck all the toys in and generally just let them play and make bath time fun time.

Monday, 9 December 2013

Britain's Best Blanket Fort...

This is our entry to Britain's Best Blanket Fort Competition with www.thefurnituremarket.co.uk

I really loved the idea of this competition - mainly because it meant that my girls got to spend some quality time together.

It was Emily and Rosie who got the chance to make their indestructible Fort of Doom!

I think you'll agree it is the best fort you have ever seen, and we probably deserve to win the competition...

How do you write an essay? TMA 02 A326

How do you write your essays?

This essay has been bugging me now. TMA 02 is particularly tricky because there is so much information to choose from, and the question is very broad. I don't ever fall foul of the OU rules that I know of, so I don't disclose the actual questions - but the question asks about the importance of religion in relation to Empire. But not just one specific empire - ANY.

So that is how broad it is.

The deadline is on Thursday - it is likely I will ask for an extension.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Review & Giveaway: Truprint Canvas

We were given the products free for the purpose of this review. All words and opinions are my own.

We were really excited to work with Truprint, the online digital photo printing service and personalised photo gifts and prints. As a family we love taking photos. The problem living in the age of technology is that many photos get left on Facebook, on USB sticks, on disks, on desktop folders... I know this - I am the worst culprit for this. It is sad that we really don't print off as much as we used to HAVE to. Which is why Truprint is great for getting them done!


Adventures in KNITTING...

So as you know I've been knitting. So I am keeping up blogging about this as I'm proud of my little projects.

First I knitted Warren a scarf, and took a really crappy picture of it, which you can find here. I have no finished Emily's scarf as well. This was a knit one, purl one ribbed scarf made of a mixture of two wools, a dark grey and a maroon. Knit one purl one was a right bitch pain because it takes ages throwing he wool back and forth each time. (lesson learned) Also, I can't show you a picture of the scarf because SOMEONE left it in school. That's gratitude for the hand-made, made with love gift right there...

So anyway, on to the next. As it turns out, my Mum is an even bigger knitting-nerd than me, and she has loads of patterns and magazines and stuff. (Mother-in-Law is chief knitter - but I never knew my own Mum was a bit of a guru as well - maybe ALL Mums can knit???) Well anyway, she has given me a knitting magazine and some wool and needles and stuff, so that's great.

Friday, 6 December 2013

Giveaway: Halos N Horns Children's Body Wash Goodie Bag!


Halos N Norns Moisturising LotionI am really pleased to be hosting a giveaway for Halos N Horns children's skincare products. Having looked through their range of products, I think they look great, and they are especially suited to 'sensitive souls.' Their latest offering in the range is the Zingy orange hair and body wash.
These products were especially formulated for parents who are worried about chemicals that may be in other body washes that there children are using. 
It is made from plant-derived cleansing ingredients, this hypoallergenic and non-drying wash is so lovely and gentle it can be used as an all-over hair and body wash.   Halos N Horns understands how delicate and sensitive young skin can be, so Zingy Orange (and all its baby and toddler bath products) contains no SLS and no parabens. This means it’s not as foamy and bubbly as some other products – but it is still gently cleansing the skin.

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Food...Winter Warmers with Family



So, it's that time of year again - freezing cold winds, de-icing the car in the morning, everyone
winding down looking forward to Christmas holidays. Personally, Christmas is my favourite holiday. I just love spending time with my family and enjoying each other. As I have said before I always think that spending time is better than spending money - time is so precious - we can always earn more money but can never gain back time. One of the ways we enjoy spending time with our family is through food. As you know, I am a big fan of having all our family sat around the table for the evening meal, and at this time of the year - warming winter food is a clear winner for us...

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Review: Cass Art Creative Products

We were given these products free of charge for the purpose of the review. All views and words are my own.
Cass Art
As a family, we love spending time together being creative. Alice and Emily enjoy painting, drawing and creating new things. It's great to fire children's imaginations and also it is fun to bond and make new things together.
So I was very excited to work with Cass Art to review their beautiful craft products. We were invited to choose two items, so I let Emily pick. She decided on the Mini Pop-Up Book and the Friendships Bracelet Making Kit

Monday, 2 December 2013

HOUSE-Elf on a Shelf...

Do you know what Elf on a Shelf is? Well it seems that any parent worth their salt is well clued up
on all this. Frankly, I think I have had my head in a ditch since becoming a mum because I have never heard of it. Anyway, to summarise this really quite ace concept - your child(ren) are going to have a special visit from a very special elf. He could arrive through the chimney, land on the door mat. He just magically appears sat on the table having eaten a load of mince pies, crumbs everywhere. So the idea is that this little elf is causing trouble, or not, depending on what you want to do. And your children will be like "Oh WOW what is he doing now???" And it is up to you as the magical parent to decide what position you wish to put your elf in.

However, in true ME style, I haven't got an elf. So I'm not that organised. I only heard about this Elf on a Shelf thing the other day on Twitter, like I said, numb-nuts me at times.

Review: gNappies - The Reusable Eco-Friendly Nappy

starter bundleWe were given a sample of gNappies for the purpose of the review. All words and views are my own.

We were really excited to be picked to review reusable eco-friendly nappies by gNappies.
Having the two babies in nappies means that we do go through them like mad. I have never used washable nappies or anything like that - I have always stuck to disposables, so using these nappies was a very different, but positive experience for me! 



Sunday, 1 December 2013

Review: Mattesons NEW Double Dippers

I was given this product free of charge for the purpose of the review and I have been compensated for my time. All words and views are my own.

As a bust Mum I really can appreciate how hard it can be to make sure that everyone in the family
 eats good, nutritious meals to give them enough energy to get through the day. For my growing girls this is especially important, and as a parent I am always aware that I need to be teaching them good eating habits from the very beginning.

As well as caring about what my children eat, I am also concerned about how myself and my husband eat. We are constantly on the go. Speaking for myself, I am always eating on the run. When I am at work, I tend to grab for any snack that I can just pop in my bag - usually crisps or biscuits. I know as well as anyone that this is not always the best choice, but it is quick and easy - a simple fix.
Which is why I was really glad to be sent some samples of Mattesons Double Dippers to try. On first glance I thought they would make an excellent tasty and healthy snack - I wasn't wrong!

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Review: Hotel Chocolat Advent Calendar

We were given this product free of charge for the purpose of this review. All words and views are my own.

We were delighted to be sent this absolutely gorgeous advent calendar from Hotel Chocolat. The Advent calendar is really something special and would be a real treat for a loved one this year.

As it was our job to test and review this - we obviously tucked in so we could provide a full account...

Knitty Nora...

YAY I finished my scarf. Not only finished it, but I started another one too! I knitted Warren a knit two, purl two scarf in dark grey. Really easy, straight forward and an actual working, wearable piece!

This photo is actually the single worst photo of anything ever. But I'm in my P.J's and damned if I'm modelling a scarf right now.

The scarf is lovely - Warren has worn it every day since I knitted it and that's good enough for me. 

Friday, 29 November 2013

Our Black Friday Bumper Bonanza Haul...

Oh yes it's Black Friday. The time just after Thanksgiving when, to celebrate, inexplicably there are MASSIVE savings to be made on consumer goods. We are consumers. We consume everything and we must buy everything. Especially if it is at a reduced price, and especially when it is BLACK FRIDAY.

Alright I know I'm being a pain. And I know that sarcasm is the lowest form of wit - and I am slightly sorry if you came here expecting me to list all our bargains.

Thursday, 28 November 2013

No PORN please, we're BRITISH...

So, under new rules, the conservative government (and I say conservative, let's face it, there is not a hint of liberal influence to it, is there really...) in their infinite wisdom are due to unveil a sort of blackout on Internet pornography. Under the new rules, no household in the UK will be able to access pornography from any Internet-using machines UNLESS they call their Internet provider to opt in.

"Hello, I would like to subscribe to the opt-in service for hardcore pornography, thanks"

Ridiculous. Why is this happening?

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Time... A Sleep-Deprived One

"Jesus, she's always banging on about having no time, how does she even find time to write about time the frigging nut-case."

Yep. I can hear what you are saying! Or perhaps it is the voices in my head - I am so tired I don't
know where I am up to sometimes. I got in work when it was really dark, turned back to the door convinced someone had followed me in, jumped, shrieked and legged it to my office.
Driving home from work my mind wanders and, studying A326 Empire with the OU...thinking about what I have learned, mulling it over in my head. I see Ghengis Khan in the clouds with all his Mongol warriors heading straight for me...
I got in from work, opened the door in the dark, saw a MONSTER in the corner of the room coming to get me. OK, it was Rosie's walker, so I just made a cup of coffee and started cooking tea.

Monday, 25 November 2013

Review: Glowbeads Bracelets...


We were over the moon to be sent this beautiful bracelet form Katherine at www.glowbeads.co.uk

I love jewellery, and the piece we were sent is a gorgeous unique and colourful bracelet. It had bright pink beads that gave off the illusion of a gorgeous glow when I twist and turned my wrist and the light caught them. It also has diamante detail in the middle.

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Memories of Kirkby Christmas Toy Appeal

I was going to write an introduction about the Memories of Kirkby group, but I think the words of one of the members, Billy, put it better than I ever could.
"Our group aims to provide that special gift at Christmas, for those who are disadvantage, disabled and most vulnerable of children. We support children who are refugees from violence, Disabled, and the disadvantaged children. We give those in care a voice and gift from Father Christmas.

We transform children's lives just for that one moment in time in hard times,

Children are always among the hardest hit. We don’t just help them survive - we help them flourish."

Giveaway! Olbas Oil & Jakemans Goodies

So it's that time of the year again when we all feel the pinch of winter and start getting sniffles and snuffles. We have all had them in our house, myself included. There is nothing worse than the babies getting poorly - they suffer and of course they can't tell you how they feel so you just feel so helpless. On top of that they don't sleep very well at night so it just makes everything ten times harder.  

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Moving House...



If you could move house where would you move, and would you stick with the same type of property?
We are in the position now where we are thinking of our next move. We currently live in a three bedroomed house and our two babies share a bedroom. Of course this is fine, and I am happy for my girl's to share. My main gripe is that the rooms are quite small and we have a lot of clutter, so sharing a room then becomes a bit more difficult. I would love to own a house with rooms that were just a bit bigger.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Christmas is Coming...



Looking forward to Christmas?


With your summer holiday memories fading as fast as your tan, it can only mean one thing. Yes, it’s Christmas time once again – where has 2013 gone?! While many folk adopt the Scrooge mentality by moaning constantly about everything festive, we think it’s far better to embrace the season to be jolly and make the most of its charms, of which there are many.
Shopping for presents can be a complete nightmare, especially if you leave it right to the last minute like me, but why not take along a friend to make the experience less painful? You can always reward yourselves with some mulled wine at the Christmas market afterwards, where people watching is especially entertaining at this time of year. 

Monday, 18 November 2013

Review: Ozeri 4x Motion Digital Pedometer

As part of my work with the fantastic brand Ozeri, I have been sent this amazing digital pedometer. Now I know that I need to be doing more exercise - especially since I have been back at work. Having a day job means that I do sit down for most of the day - which is not the best way to spend my days, I know. NHS research shows that walking 10,000 steps per day builds stamina, burns calories and can have a  significant impact on your health.

Giveaway: Two Family Tickets to Blackpool Attractions



The Blackpool Tower DungeonI'm delighted to be able to offer you a fantastic giveaway of two prizes!

Up for grabs are the following:






Sunday, 17 November 2013

The First Rule of Knit Club...

is that you don't talk about knit club, right?

Well, following some conversations with my work-mates, I thought that I would get involved in KNITTING. Yes, knitting is something that Nans do. But you know what, I really like knitting. I wouldn't say that I am an absolute beginner, but I am far from experienced. I knitted a couple of baby hats and mittens when I was pregnant with Alice, but I've not really picked it up from there.

A lot of Mums get crafty with their kids, or they crochet or do something creative. I always admire that and I thought that maybe I should get involved in crafting too.

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Review & Giveaway - Diary from Personal Planner

As you know I am very busy. My life is organised by a series of lists and diary entries - as most Mums I would imagine! This is why I was over the moon to be sent a personal planner from the lovely lady at personal-planner.co.uk

Personal Planner offer a wide range of diaries and notebooks - all designed online by YOU. I think the service is fantastic. You know when you pick up a normal diary and sometimes there is just not enough room for a to-do list, or you need more space for weekend, or for the week, or whichever...well this problem is solved as you can personalise your diary and create it any way you want.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Open University: A326 Empire TMA 01 Results & TMA 02...

Notes and highlighting! Wonders will never cease.
So the results are in for TMA 01 and I have over the moon. My highest score to date, a very high pass 1, only dropping a couple of marks. I picked the document analysis question, as I feel much more at home answering a more typical historian's question. Am I finally organised? I don't know. Hopefully... I have made some changes to the way I work, and I'll explain a little bit about them.

Monday, 11 November 2013

Cancer Research UK #PacketRacket

I was really pleased to be asked to blog about the important issue of cigarette packaging and the
influence this can have on our children. This exclusive campaign aims to raise awareness about this issue and is to protect our children.

As an ex-smoker myself this is a subject that I really care about - anything that will help stop our children taking up smoking is definitely worth shouting about.

What follows is the video campaign and CRUK's information. Feel free to share this information.



Sunday, 10 November 2013

REAL Mums Bake Cakes...


It's true that REAL Mums bake cakes.

I am TERRIBLE at baking, I don't mind saying. I am a good cook, I do main meals from fresh every night, but I am just useless at desserts. The best thing I ever baked was this steak pie:

Review & Giveaway: Balloon Baboon - A Balloon in a Box

We recently received a helium 'balloon in a box' from A Balloon in A Box

This post is going to be mainly pictures - I believe that the pictures can tell you more than I can about these balloons!

Friday, 8 November 2013

Weight Watchers Biscuits & Snacks: Review

Now that it is getting colder and the nights are drawing in, I like to sit in with a lovely cup of coffee at night and have a bit of something sweet. A nice dunking biscuit or a small piece of chocolate does it for me - it's a little treat and can brighten up a bit of a dull day. I've mentioned about my weight before, and I have lost quite a bit, but I am just staying the same at the moment - and I'm happy with that for now, but what I don't want to do is gain weight over winter - it is so easily done. Especially when it is cold and a lot of comfort food is higher in fat and calories.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Kid's Hobby Ideas...


As a Mum, I want my children to enjoy extra-curricular activities. I want them to have fun whilst learning at the same time, and to be creative. All of my girls have attended nursery from a young age and I feel that this encourages them to mix with other children, socialise and have new experiences that perhaps I wouldn’t be able to give them on my own. Emily, the eldest has also been keen on getting involved in after-school clubs as well as clubs outside of school. What follows are my ideas for kids hobbies. They don’t have to cost the earth and you can even get involved with them yourself if you wanted to. It is so fantastic to watch our children grow and learn, having fun and new experiences along the way.

Saturday, 2 November 2013

The Sweet Shop: Blogger's Event & Exclusive Online Discount Code

Me and Emily were really excited to be invited to a blogger morning at The Sweet Shop in the Trafford Centre, Manchester. This was to showcase their products and publicise their online delivery service - as well as providing me with an online discount code for me to share with you!  A number of other businesses in the Centre had also collaborated to provide for the event and to give us a taster of what they had to offer.

Friday, 1 November 2013

Review: Beatrix New York Papar Owl Tablet Case

I am so excited to show you this amazing tablet case that I have been given the opportunity of reviewing. Say hello to Papar the Owl!

I absolutely adore this little case. The great thing about it is although it is a tablet case, it is not simply that - it is so much more.


Thursday, 31 October 2013

Our Spooky Halloween

We just got back from trick or treating, so I just wanted to share our photos. We were also sent some yummy pickled onion flavoured Pom Bears - Halloween special! So we tucked into those before we went out and then set out to scare everyone!

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

My Kiddicare Bargains...

I don’t normally do posts like this but I was so pleased with my bargains that I just have to tell you, and also it links in nicely with little developmental stages for the babies. Unfortunately I do not work with Kiddicare, but Kiddicare, if you are reading this come and get me!
So, you may or may not know that my favourite shop is Kiddicare. Love it. It’s a bit like a better Mothercare. Sorry Mothercare. Kiddicare has a range of products to suit all budgets, so you have your value range of things and also you have a higher cost range if you fancied splashing out. This is why I like it. My shop of choice is the one at Aintree Retail Park in Liverpool.

Review: Ozeri Precision Bathroom Scales

As you know I have been working with Ozeri to bring you some fantastic products including their frying pan and their 12" wok. This time I'll be letting you know about their bathroom scales.
I don't know about you but when it comes to scales, I like them to be precise, quick and to preferably use the\ same ones each time so that I know that there is a level of consistency with my weighing.
The Ozeri Precision II Bathroom Scales are fantastic. In the past I have always had problems waiting for digital scales to calibrate - not with these ones. You step on them and within a  second, for better or for worse, your weight in right there on the widescreen LCD screen.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Our Entry to Be Activity Toys Direct Bloggers!

When I saw the competition to be an Activity Toys Direct Blogger I knew that we would absolutely jump at the chance to enter this. We are a very close family and enjoy spending time together indoors and outdoors. We enjoy learning, exploring and putting toys through their paces - letting our readers know all about toys we have had the opportunity to try, and having loads of fun along the way! So what follows is our entry.

The challenge is to write a blog post explaining how we would spend £750 making over our back garden. We chose to write ours through the eyes of our three children, Emily, Alice and Rosie. We hope you enjoy it.

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Review: A Great Day out At Chester Zoo

So on Friday we were treated by SuperBreak to a day out at Chester Zoo. We love days out as a family and the zoo is an ideal place to go to explore for our children to have fun and learning at the same time. The last time we went to the zoo Alice was a baby and still in the buggy. This time was a whole new experience for us as Alice was wanting to walk everywhere, and it was baby Rosie who was being pushed around, seemingly unbothered by the whole day!
We were given a map, which made our day really easy as we found our way through the zoo.

Monday, 21 October 2013

Review & Giveaway! Wooden Advent Calendar & £25 Voucher From Love Christmas Ltd

I was very excited to be given the opportunity to work with a lovely chap at Love Christmas Ltd.  Love Christmas is a website that well...loves Christmas, and all of their products truly reflect that.

If you are like me the thought of Christmas is just exciting and terrifying in equal measures. I don't know about you but I like to try and get all of my Christmas shopping finished by the start of December. This is not me being bah humbug about the whole thing - I just want everything bought and wrapped, decorations at the ready - so that we can enjoy Christmas as a family without worrying about what to buy, when to buy and when to find the time.

Friday, 18 October 2013

He Loves His Job...

She finishes the tea for 5.45pm. Veg on the verge of wilting. Kids banging spoons on the table waiting for Daddy to finish work. He loves his job. She puts the tea on the plates, hands the girl's theirs. The key jangles in the doorway. Just in time.

"Hya love." He puts a huge plastic box full of yellow school books in the middle of the floor, and
plonks a back pack full of lesson plans on the couch. He takes his place at the table, weary eyes, tie twisted at the shirt collar, glad to be off his feet.

They talk at the table. They talk about their days. The girls have been good. One is star of the week in school, one has learned a new word but was chastised for climbing on the furniture, one ate feta cheese for the first time.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

My Favourite Student-Gadgets

As a student I wouldn’t say I was gadget-obsessed, but I just like what I like. I am actually a self-confessed old school old-book lover. And by that I mean I love old second hand books, I love the smell and feel of them – I like running my fingers over the pages and breaking their spines.
However, we do live in the technological age and everything does seem to be more and more online or on screen.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Review: My Little Pony. Call of the Cutie DVD

We were really excited to receive another My Little Pony DVD in the post. Emily and Alice loved the last one and were very much looking forward to watching My Little Pony friendship Magic Call of the Cutie.
Alice is starting to enjoy watching TV now. Not so much films - she has the attention span of a gnat I'm afraid. But she did sit down to watch single episodes of this, coming and going as she pleased. Emily was the main reviewer of these DVDs, so I'll be getting her opinion on this DVD for you!

A326 Empire TMA 01 and First Tutorial

So today was my first tutorial for A32: Empire. This is the first Level 3 course that I am taking, and my fifth course with the. OU. I love the OU. I know, I know - everyone is sick of reading that from me, but I honestly do not have a bad word to say about them. Which is very much unlike me, I am a proper complainer in my old age!

Tutorial

Today we had a two-hour tutorial. I always love the tutorials and I try and attend each one. I always leave full of ides, full of inspiration - it really is great to be around other students and the tutor to share ideas. This one was mainly introductory, but I came away with a list of things to think about that were mainly housekeeping (and nothing to do with sweeping or steaming the floor, thank goodness.) So tonight I've re-read the module guide and looked over the assessment guidelines. It is great to familiarise yourself with them - to find out what it is the course wants of us.

Friday, 11 October 2013

Review: Tommee Tippee Weaning Set

I was delighted to be given the opportunity of reviewing some Tommee Tippee products on my blog. We have always used Tommee Tippee products for our babies; including bottle warmers, insulated bottle bags, even the bottles themselves. Rosie is currently rocking the pink patterned baby bottles - we love them!o

But alas, the time has come for us to begin to move on from baby milk and to start introducing some real food into Rosie's diet. I recently wrote about our issues with weaning and potty training here. 


Sunday, 6 October 2013

Review: 12" Green Earth Wok by Ozeri

You may remember I mentioned I am working with Ozeri to bring you some reviews of their products. I reviewed their 8" frying pan a few weeks ago and confessed that it was my best pan ever. Now  have to change my mind - the wok is now my favourite - sorry frying pan!

You may be reading this thinking I am bonkers, it's only a kitchen item, what am I making a fuss for? Well, if you're anything like me you will spend a good chunk of your time cooking - so it really is important to have the best tool available to you - and this truly is a cracker.

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Our Visit to Imperial War Museums (IWM) North for the #BigDraw

We were delighted to be invited to a preview event for this October half term activities by Imperial War Museum (IWM) North. Families are being invited to take part in the world's largest drawing festival this October. You can take part in The Big Draw 2013 by creating  their own artistic work inspired by collections at the museum!
As you know I am a history student so I love this museum. We have been a few times before, but we were really looking forward to going as bloggers so that we could share with you their programme for families.

We were all up bright and early this morning to go to Manchester for our visit. We took the double buggy along with us for Rosie and Alice, but we let Alice walk around. We had a fantastic day.

Friday, 4 October 2013

Review: Twinkl Online Resources

 I was very keen to get involved with reviewing Twinkl - an online resource for parents, children and schools. It is a "one-stop shop for thousands of unique and printable teaching resources for EYFS, Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, home educators, nurseries and more." I have to agree with them here - it really is a comprehensive website. It contains over 91,000 unique teaching resources such as work sheets and activity ideas as well certificates and signs and labels.

As you know I have Emily aged 10 and Alice aged 2. (I'm not too keen to throw Rosie in at the deep end of academia just yet!) Emily is due to take her SATs at the end of this school year, so of course I was very keen to try out this website, not only for myself but to show to you also.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

On the Road Again...

Now I am back at work I am back to travelling an 80 mile round trip Liverpool – Manchester. I choose to drive there, as it works out better than getting the train, and besides I’ve already had a moan about trains on here before. Join the Love Train
So what follows below are my own meandering thoughts about commuting. They are not necessarily tips, but more just random observations and probably entirely useless information about my daily commute.

Monday, 30 September 2013

Back to Uni: Internet – How do you use yours?



Now that the next academic year is upon us, I am now back to spending my nights studying (groan?) Well I love studying so it’s not a real issue for me. As you know I am with the OU and as I do distant learning, a lot of the information I need is online. I do tend to print off some of the things I need, but this is increasingly getting unmanageable – it is a nightmare filing sheets of paper, costs a fortune in ink and a lot of the time I don’t use all of the information anyway.  So I have decided this year to read straight from my tablet or laptop. This is where my broadband connection is really important, and BT’s student broadband deal is great – fast internet speeds at an affordable price.

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Center Parcs Family Blogger Club - Our Entry

Center Parcs choose 12 families every year to be in their Family Blogger Club. As part of the blogger club, their job is to review a family holiday at one of the villages of their choice. (I know - hard job but someone's got to do it, right?)

Well, when I heard they were on the lookout for the next group of families to do this job, I was really up for the challenge! The judges want the potential Center Parcs families to create a video showing how they like to spend quality time together. So I put my thinking cap on and came up with the video below!

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Event Preview: Dinosaur Zoo at the Lowry


This event at the Lowry in Manchester looks absolutely amazing, so I thought that I would pop some information here - this may be something that you are interested in seeing. Unfortunately, we can't make the date due to other commitments (boo!)


Dinosaur Zoo creators 'Erth' use amazing puppets to bring dinosaurs to life in an interactive and imaginative live show. The show is suitable for families with children aged 3+.


Sunday, 22 September 2013

Creating a Haven for Birds In Your Back Garden

My kids love animals and wildlife. We do not have any pets at this moment in time - we are all so busy that I don't think it would be fair to take on board another furry little family member just yet! So our contact with animals is generally limited to the dogs in the park, or the animals in the zoo or farms.

Alice particularly likes birds. We took the kids to Martin Mere not long ago, and she was fascinated by the birds and the ducks there. Lately I've been thinking about maybe attracting wild birds to our own garden. It would be lovely for Alice to watch them come and go freely, without keeping them as pets.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Review: Safety Reign Backpack from PfM

We were really pleased to be given the opportunity to review the Safety Rein Backpack from

Presents For Men, an online gift shop. The name of the website is a bit of a misnomer really - the website has lots of  fantastic Christmas gifts and presents for people of all ages and both sexes.


Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Open University A326 - Empire - Books Have Arrived...COR!

Wowsers. My books are here. I'll not lie - I am really excited to be doing this course. I love pure history, and this is what this is for me. Last year I did A218: Medicine and Society. This time I feel like I am returning to something that I love.
There are three pretty hefty looking books, a DVD, CD, a Visual Sources book (good old OU!) and a letter explaining that there is a lot more reading on the OU website...I knew it looked too easy...

Review: Zappie Children's App



ZappieLogo.jpgWe recently got the opportunity to review a brand new children's app by Zappie. The app is a new interactive application for youngsters that aims to bring pictures to life.

Monday, 16 September 2013

Review: Baker Days Cake - YUMMY!

We were delighted to be offered a cake from Baker Days to review - who wouldn't be? In exchange for a review, we were given a personalised letterbox cake. A letterbox cake is exactly what it says, it is small enough to fit through your letter box, but big enough to share! When ours landed on our mat we were really excited - we love cake in our house.
The package was cute - the cake itself arrived in a tin with a little card and candles and party blower.


Open Plan Living Space - The Clear Winner?

So we as a family are starting to think about moving house. We currently live in a three-bedroomed property, and with having the three girls, we're looking at hopefully getting something a bit bigger, finances permitting of course. The one thing that I would look for in our next home is a large open plan area downstairs. I would love to have a large front room and large back room as well as the kitchen and dining area.


Friday, 13 September 2013

Review: Softly Snail Activity Fun House


We were really over the moon to be given a review opportunity with Little Bird Told Me. We were chosen to review this gorgeous Softly Snail Activity Fun House and couldn't wait to get cracking with our toy testing! With Rosie just about turning 6 months old we knew that Rosie would be super-excited to test out this gorgeous toy. She is just at that age where little ones love to explore different sounds, textures and colours, so I knew as soon as we received the toy that it would be a hit with her.

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