Wednesday, 29 June 2016

School summer fetes ( 1st time around )

When you are pregnant you can find so much information, from bump to birth and then on to toddler age you can find countless books, guides and helpful information. I have found that once your child gets to nursery age this help and information drys up! As a 1st time mum to a now 4 1/2 year old who will be starting full time school in September i thought i would share my views/tips on all the things you will face 1st time !

As you may or may not know, my son is only 4 1/2 he attends morning nursery this is part of the school he will be joining come september and i am tryingly hardest to embrace everything school ! so with this in mind when the news letter came home informing me about the upcomming school summer fete i was really excited !

The school had a really good system for donations by hosting mufti day for four fridays but rather then bringing in a £ each week the child had to bring in a donation 1st week it was un-wanted gifts i had just had a good clear out so Bodhi went in with a bag full of items that we just had hanging around being un-used 2nd week was for soft toys now this was a little harder due to Bodhi having very strong feelings to all of his soft toys! But i had a few beanie babies tucked away from way back when so off they went into school ! week 3 this week was bring a bottle again i found this week pretty hard as i was unsure if they wanted wine/beer soft drinks bubble bath?! who knew!! so i played it safe and sent him in with a bottle of posh looking fizzy juice and the last week and the day of the fete was sweets/chocolate and i sent Bodhi in with x5 little bags of sweets that were 5 for £1 from asda. I personally feel like we donated a lot ! but i didn't spend more then £1 on each week so same as if he was paying for mufti.

When the friday rolled again for the fete the weather was looking pretty good and everyone was buzzing! This was when i started to worry , how much money should i take? do i like Bodhi do everything ? how much will the bouncey castle be? all of these things i had no idea of the answers, so we went back into school for 2.30 and the hall was PACKED! like rammed ! parents queuing for the tombola and kids running around hyped up on ice pops and sweets!

I went with the idea that Bodhi would have £4 to spend ( i was thinking the bouncy castle would be £1/2 and most games/treats would be 50p ) turns out i was wrong so Bodhi went running off to play and spend his money and this is how £8 ( yeah i let him have more ) got spent in less then 10 minitues

30p - lolly pop pull  (didn't win but got a lolly )
20p - lucky dip ( party bag type toy )
£1 - coconut shy -  ( didn't win )
£1 bean bags into buckets -  ( didn't win )
£1 ping pong ball into cups -  ( party bag type toy )
£1 x3 tombola tickets - ( room air smelly thing with the sticks? - see photo )
50p soft toy tombola - ( duck )
£1 sweet tombola - ( bag of mixed sweets )
£1 bouncey castle
£1 ice pop & ice cream cone

BOOM £8! with not a lot to show for it but Bodhi was really happy and thats what counts no? so tips for your 1st time attending a school fete * take change * set a budget * tell your child when the money is gone its gone * do the bouncey castle last * take a bag * keep calm it will soon be over !

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Triceratops Dinosaur DNA *review*

When asked if we wanted to review the Triceratops Dinosaur DNA kit i jumped at the chance as i knew Bodhi would LOVE it! i mean come on its Dinosaurs / playing palaeontologists / iPad all rolled into one box !

The first thing i did once we received the kit was to download and test out the free app on my iPad as the last thing i wanted was for this to not work, lucky this is so simple and easy to use. I waited until we had a few hours as a family and i brought the kit out to show Bodhi, His face lit up when i explained that we needed to dig out Dinosaur DNA & bones from the block of "mud" ( i kept out the augmented reality part as i was unsure on how long this digging would take. 

Both Chris and Bodhi really enjoyed digging and brushing away the plaster to find the bones and DNA tube ( we did use water to soften the plaster ) this dig time was around an hour and at 4 1/2 Bodhi stayed pretty focused and keen to get stuck in. 

We soon found the DNA tube and once that was out the bones soon followed , the kit contains everything you will need for your dig but i would advice ( and so do the instructions ) that you either do the digging outside or put down an old towel or newspaper it got pretty messy ( but that's half the fun right ) the kit is marked at 8+ but i feel this is for solo use Bodhi was fine with the help of both myself and daddy . Once we had all of our bones we gave them a little wash and fitted them all together to make our Triceratops.

The Dinosaur bones glow in the dark and it is now on display in Bodhi's bedroom.

we then moved on to the AR part of the kit and this was something that i knew would blow Bodhi's mind , the kit has two mats one that is for your dinosaur ( you can also get Tyrannosaurus Rex & Stegosaurus kits these can be brought from Amazon RRP £13.99 ) The other mat is a bonus AR mat which features a mysterious scene. All you need to do is to finish the edge of the DNA with your dug up stickers then use the camera on your phone or iPad over the mat and WOW you will have a amazing play / visual experience. 

We all took turns standing with the Dinosaur and Bodhi loved being inside the thunder and lighting storm on my bonus mat. This is a great kit and it was a lovely way to spend a sunday afternoon i would defiantly recommend this as a gift idea for any dinosaur fan! The kit is very well put together and the instructions are very clear and simple to use. Bodhi now wants to be a palaeontologist when he grows up and who can blame him ? 

* This kit was sent for a review but all views are that of my own * 

Sunday, 19 June 2016

love2read ( fathers day ) *Review*

When i was asked if i wanted to make a personalised book for fathers day using photos and my own words i jumped at the chance. Bodhi is just starting to understand letters and words so i wanted to make it really simple for him to understand and for him to read the book to Chris. 

The site is so simple to use , All you have to do is upload your photos and then drag and drop into place and add your own words, edging and colours for borders. The hardest thing i found was picking what photos to use as i have so many! But i was soon happy with our little book and off it went to print,  It arrived and it really is amazing its a soft page book and really child friendly. Bodhi was really pleased with his ' Daddy book ' I had to hide it away until fathers day as Bodhi wanted to give it to him right away!

The last page has words from the tile only thing i wish that was different would be that would could pick these words yourself as in our book the words are repeated, The books start at £14.99 for one ( with £2 P&P) then if you order x2 books the P&P is free 3 books £13.99 and 4 £12.99 these books would also be perfect for birthdays/events/milestones anything really ! 

They make wonderful gifts and family keepsakes i am 100% pleased with the whole service and would recommend them to friends and family ( and you guys ) 

Chris was really touched when Bodhi gave him his book and even more so when Bodhi could read some of the words to him such as 'daddy' 'love' and 'dude' ! 

* we received this order in exchange for our review and feedback *
20% off your order use code JB20 at the check out ( this discount is valid until 28/6/2016 )

Friday, 17 June 2016

Party bags & supplies ( party pack review )

As our children get older and they more parties they attend there is a really high bar set for parents to get it right ! when i hosted Bodhi's 4th birthday back in january i was so stressed out i didn't take any photos of the party or get to speak to many guests! 

I have now come across this website party bags and supplies they make life so simple ! your child wants a hello kitty themed party they have got it ! your child wants a shark themed party they also have that, They pretty much cover every cartoon and theme your child could think of and sell plates/cups/party bags/ balloons everything you could need for a birthday party! 

We was kindly sent a party pack for 8 guests and after looking at the themes with Bodhi we picked the camoflage range , I was super impressed with the service and the quality of the items in the pack 

Camouflage Tableware Pack for 8. Camouflage Paper Party Tablecover,  Camouflage Paper Party Plates - Pack of 8. 23 cms, Camouflage Paper Cups - Pack of 8, Camouflage Napkins - Pack of 16   £8.50 

we then also had x8 filled camouflage party bags these fitted the theme really well and well worth the £1.85 each price tag they stock a huge range of other items to go along with this theme you could order all that you need for your party with just a few clicks 

We hosted our party in our garden one afternoon after school with a few of Bodhi's class mates all of the parents commented on the tableware and I'm sure they will be placing orders soon, Using the site took out all of the stress as they thing i needed was in one place and online. no rushing around the shop and stuffing party bags! I even got to enjoy a jelly at this party! 

The site also stocks ranges such a hen party items and baby shower tableware plus games and extra party bag fillers. 

Easy DIY fathers day card

Bodhi and i love doing arts & crafts so 99% of the time we will make our own cards anyways but i always feel that shop brought mothers/fathers day card really are either so gushy and sickening or really jokey and a little bit rude!

So we make our own , to make this mega simple card that could be used for any "Ha-Pea" event you will need

* a blank card & envelope
* Green paint
* marker pens
* glue
* stick on eyes

1st step is to paint your childs ( or your own ) thumb with the green paint 
and press down onto the card leaving little green thumb prints ( these are your peas ) do as many as you like for your pod

next either yourself or child ( depending on their level of writing ) will need to draw the pea pod around the thumb prints , Then adding the words " Ha-pea " Fathers day 

By this point this thumb prints should be dry, if not leave until fully dry before you glue over the pea's to add the eyes ( if you don't have any eyes you can always just draw some on )

And thats it ! add what you like to the inside of your card and you have made a very simple yet personal card to give for fathers day (  I also made one for my dad ) 

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

wings arm covers

Wingz sleeves for dresses and tops are the perfect arm covers that will transform your outfit. As wingz do not add another layer they also give the effect of lace/chiffon arm for the outfit and can replicate the look of a shrug without the added bulk.

when i first opened my parcel with my Wingz i wasn't really sure what to make of it , But once on under a no sleeved top i fully understood just how useful this small light weight item of clothing could be to any females wardrobe.

The wingz bottom fits under your bra and then the sleeves fit on your shoulders , My arms are on the slim side so my Wingz fitted a little looser then i thought it would but this wasn't a bad thing on a hot day. I was very impressed with the feel and quality of the wingz as i was worried it would feel like it was cutting into my chest ( this wasn't the case at all ) 

As we have had a few sunny days over the UK I've been out digging out the weeds in my garden i soon became hot and over heating i came inside to grab my hat and i also thought it would be a prefect time to try out my Wingz i had been sent the 3/4 length in white ( most of my clothes are in blacks or greys ) But i liked the two tone look i made with my layers. After another hour or so in the garden my arms didn't feel hot or sweaty ( my legs & back on the other hand ) yuck !

I have a conservation with my mum about wings and we came up with a list of ideas of places they would be useful

- In the garden
- weddings ( in replaces of a shrug/cover up )
- general Travelling ( less to pack )
- UK beach trips/days out ( with our ever changing weather would be good to have the option of sleeves if needed with out taking two whole different tops )
- to cover tattoos/ scars ( perfects for weddings/photos/family events when you don't want these things being the main focus )
- Religious sites ( places such as India/Dubai where you can't visit some landmarks without shoulders & knees covered )
- Dubai shopping Malls ( Again shoulders & knees must be covered in most places in Dubai )

They also come in a range of colours and styles and other lengths , check them out and see what you think for yourself. I can see myself getting a lot of use out of my set of Wingz

* I was sent this item for a review *

Saturday, 11 June 2016

12 Things i would rather do then be watching UEFA euro football !

I am not a football fan , i come from a long line of none football fans so when the euro rolls around i can't help it. I really dislike the game ( don't get me wrong i don't mind playing football in the park on a weekend or small teams for fun )

Im talking about the big boys the players that get paid mega bucks did you know that Lionel Messi earns an eyewatering £336,000 a week!! thats £2,000 and hour £33 a minute, He is the same age as me and his earnings are well... shocking but this isn't a post about footballers wages its about things i would rather do then watch 90 mintues of the euro football

take a look at this website to find out other footballers wages

1- take a nap ( 90 minutes is the perfect nap length )
2 - have a bath with 90 minutes id have time to wash my hair & shave my legs! bliss
3 - go to the park with Bodhi and play football together
4 - defrost my freezer
5 - go food shopping
6 - hoover my stairs ( this is my most hated house work job )
7 - weed the garden
8 - write a blog post / film a video
9 - read a book , like a real book with pages!
10 - waste 90 minutes on social media
11 - put together IKEA flatpack
12 - poke my eyes out with spoons!

will you be watching the football this month?

Friday, 10 June 2016

Lullaby Baby - nursery rhymes 123 - album review

Who doesn't love music ? we listen to a really wide range of music in our house and four year old Bodhi loves music , he is always dancing around to the radio or singing along to CD's in the car.

We was very kindly send two album for review by Nursery Rhymes123 we was send one album with 11 nursery rhymes on including classic children hits such as The wheels on the bus and Incy windy spider i kept this CD in my car and we both enjoyed singing along and they are sung really well and the songs are kept pretty short. Bodhi's favourite had to be Row row your boat and hickory hickory dock.

Nursery Rhymes 123 began in 2010 as a collaboration between BAFTA award winning director and father of two Dan Smith, and UK based singer songwriter Martha Bean. Having been frustrated with the lack of good quality Nursery Rhymes available on YouTube, they both wanted to create some beautiful music ( with animations ) that parents could bear to listening to on repeat.

I think they have done a great job as some of the rubbish Bodhi watches on Youtube is pretty shocking and most of the signing is in a really odd Indian accent or really cheesy America one.

The next is lullaby Baby this has 21 beautiful lullabies to help your little ones to sleep, This has been put to the test with now the lighter night and the muggy heat 9 times out of 10 Bodhi is asleep by around track 6/7 its a lovely calm mix of songs perfect for babies and children to help them relax at bed time.

To accompany the release of Lullaby Baby, you can watch you are my sunshine on the NurseryRhyme123 youtube channel. the track has been brought to life by animation expert Anne Wilkins.

The album is available to purchase on iTunes for £7.99 or you can also listen to the album on Spotify. It's available on all other download & streaming sites including Amazon, Google Play and apple music.

In my view £7.99 is a really fair price for what you get the album also has 12 instrumental tracks and if it helps a fussy baby/child is sleep or even to relax if stressed or angry ( we have used the lullaby album a few times when Bodhi is having time out ) then it is worth every penny!!

Please check them on out on youtube or visit them online

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Ikea Stress

I love buying things second hand for many reasons, the biggest is the saving money, so when i saw on a local Facebook selling page the same Ikea bed id been lusting over for Bodhi for a bargain £20 i knew i had to have it !! only problem was the seller was moving house at the end of the week and Chris couldn't go get it before then ( no way i could have fitted it all in my little car ) so i asked if i could pay another £10 for them to bring it over and yesterday afternoon it arrived , 

Well this is when the stress started ! The photo below is from the Ikea website of the bed they stock... BUT they used to also stock the same bed with blue or pink ( the bed we have got is the blue model ) so i was thinking i was being smart by downloading the instructions for the white bed thinking they would be the same ( i was very very wrong ) it seems that our blue bed is Ikea bed 1.0 and said white bed in photo is Ikea bed 1.1 so yeah.... it was a little bit like trying to cook a recipe by only using the photos as the instructions are in a different language ! 
With a lot of help from my mum, dad , husband ( and Bodhi ) we got the bed made in a little over three hours! Bodhi is so please with his big boy bed and it is pretty big !! it takes up nearly all of the box room , So it looks like the change over of bed rooms will be bumped up the to do list. 

The bed new from Ikea would have costs 

£130 for the bed frame ( KURA reversible )
£12.50 for the bed tent 
£35 delivery or who knows how much if we had driven to pick it up (can't go into Ikea for just one thing knowing me i'd have spent over £30 on candles and meatballs )
plus for the mattress ( we got the mattress within the £30 over all cost ) 

So over all buying second hand we saved over £150 this saved money will be put towards the new carpet for the boys room, so yes it was a huge pain in the bum and without my families help I'd still be making the sodding thing but it is done now and Bodhi is over the moon to have it so its worth the stress in the end! 

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

#ToddlerApprovedTuesday ( simple sand play )

Sometimes the best play ideas are they most simple ! now the weather is starting to play ball and we have some lovely sunny afternoons. All i did was to dump some of Bodhi's play sand ( you can get bags of this play sand from pretty much every shop going even pound land sells small bags ! ) onto his tuff spot tray, I added a few rocks from the garden and also some rose petals, I places his big trucks on top of the sand to start his imagination going.

Once Bodhi was home from morning nurseery the weather had really picked up so was a perfect time to go and play with the sand, i sat with Bodhi ( who is 4 1/2 ) and we played all sorts of pretend games, we played builders / dinoursars with rock eggs / castles and monsters / digging for treasures

Linking up with  #ToddlerApprovedTuesday some times its just best to keep things simple , less is more as they say! Body has really enjoyed this no set up sand play afternoon in this tuff spot tray.


kiddylicious New Crunchy range

When Kiddylicious asked if Bodhi would like to try out the new crunchy range i knew he definitely would, we was both very pleased when a box arrived filled with goodies not only the new crunchy grapes and crunchy peas & sweetcorn but also bags of fruit wriggles and smoothie melts for him to try.

Bodhi has had the fruit wriggles in the past and always enjoyed them , they are a low sugar snack/treat isn't something i would let Bodhi have everyday but they are great for keeping in your handbag/change bag for an out and about snack , they are also pretty much messy free so perfect for travel snacks. We took some on holiday with us last summer.

Bodhi was very keen to try the smoothie melts as he loves smoothie drinks, these little flat shapes melt on your tongue and they are very tasty ( yes i did try them! ) again perfect size bag for a little on the go snack.

Lastly Bodhi tried the new crunchy range, wasn't a hit for him, They are very crunchy and taste like the fruit and veg but i just don't think Bodhi liked the texture. Always good to try new things tho and i am sure others will really enjoy them.

I have stocked up on the smoothie melts as Bodhi will often ask for them when offered a snack, They range from 50/60p per bag but are often on muilt deals in super markets

Thank you to Kiddylicious for sending us these snacks to try 2/3 thumbs up from Bodhi

Winter meals into summer meals

In our house the family favourite meal has got to be pie ( steak or chicken ) we all just love it, clean plates all round, but when the heat starts to pick up the thought of sitting down to eat a steaming hot pie isn't my ideal summer dinner.

simple things like adding a side salad rather then veg or swapping your roast potatoes for maybe a jacket or a new potatoes salad with fresh herbs and mayo and the best thing of all ? eat your dinner out in the garden ( pure bliss )

One of our most loved pies is the wild Beaver pie from Brockleby's Pies these can be ordered online via the website but Chris loves to visit county fairs and Brockleby's are often at our local ones ( Bedfordshire area )

these pies are amazing they are so full of meat its unreal they have a wide range of filling from the normal chicken to more unusual fillings such as venison i am keen to try one of the sweet pies either apple pie or apple & blackberry pie

what is your family's favourite meal? is it more of a winter or summer meal? id love to know in the comments.