Making mistakes..

I’m having a bad week, I made an error of judgement for which I am kicking myself. To cut a long story very short, I enrolled Boo in a pre-school, and after arriving to collect him early and being unimpressed with what I saw (on top of a whole catalogue of other issues with the place over the week) I have removed him.

If I had any doubt that I had made the right decision, the communication with the woman running the place when I told her we wouldn’t be returning really cemented things. I may look exhausted and tatty around the edges, but it doesn’t mean I cannot recall what was said one day to the next, and trying to convince me I am stupid or inferior does not make me a happy Mummy.

So, here I am feeling guilty, that Boo is at home with me and Elvis, when if I had made a ‘good’ choice, he would be off playing with his new friends. Actually, Boo is playing very nicely with his farm set, and has just given me an explanation of why there are so many cows on it, apparently he needs lots of milk to feed the farmer who gets very hungry working hard all day long.. Well, he knows where the milk comes from so I guess I must be doing something right!

Araagghhh!! Pass me the chocolate!!

Last week, I arrived home fairly excited and with a bounce in my step. I’d done it, I’d lost 1 & 1/2 stone and therefore was the lightest I have been since giving birth to Boo (who is now 3..)although still with a long weigh (see what i did there?!) to go! Suddenly I felt driven, seeing myself achieve that in a fairly short space of time, I really could see the end of the tunnel!

Of course, typical, this has been a stupidly stressful week. I’ve started to do some freelance work, and we’ve all been poorly amongst other things. Then the final straw, today I drove to the local shop (a few miles away) and I literally couldn’t park anywhere, so, I drove around and then tried again. Still unsuccessful in finding a space after 15minutes of wasted time driving around the village, I drove in frustration to the big supermarket in town. I dislike going there, especially on my own, as all the bad food seems to end up in my trolley.

I avoided the Krispy Kreme doughnuts, I avoided the wine, then I reached the sweets aisle..My hand lingered on Thornton’s toffee, I could just imagine how creamy and sweet it would be, then I remembered my tooth is still broken from the incident earlier in the week involving scan bran – which by the way does taste exactly like cardboard. I scanned the aisle and took it all in, toblerone, jelly beans, galaxy, kinder eggs, GALAXY..i saw it the second time and some how it made its way into my basket and to cut a long story short, I am sat chomping on it.

It’s not that bad is it? I hear you cry! Well, what I’ve not told you yet is that it is actually two bars of galaxy.. so 300g of pure chocolaty yummy badness. I’m trying not to look at just how many calories it is, but I know it is probably more than a days worth!!

So, I’m feeling grumpy, and a bit sick, and tomorrow when I get weighed and have gained about 4 stone, I will have a cry, remind myself what a rubbish week I’ve had, and hopefully re-focus.

Milkshake Gold! Dvd Review & GIVEAWAY!!

With the weather turning grey and miserable, my thoughts turn to entertaining the boys on days when it is too cold and wet to venture outside. We’ve all had a horrible cold, so you can imagine the delight and excitement on Boo’s face when a parcel turned up containing the New Milkshake Gold Dvd!

Packaging Design © 2011 Abbey Home Media Group Ltd. All rights reserved. © Channel 5 Broadcasting Limited 2011. All characters ™ & © 2011.

Milkshake is a firm favourite in our house, we love the colourful combinations of such family favourites as Roary, Thomas and The Mr Men! The Dvd promises over 2hours of the best pre-school characters and as boredom busters go, this was superb! Boo particularly enjoyed the familiar faces of the Milkshake Presenters introducing the cartoons. I loved seeing ‘Harry and his Bucket full of Dinosaurs’ and explain about Dinosaurs to Boo, although I realise my knowledge about them is distinctly lacking! There are also several ‘extras’ on the DVD, of which Boo’s favourite was the ‘Roary Rev Up’ – he loves cars so this was inevitable!

We’re planning a trip abroad towards the end of the year, and the Milkshake Gold Dvd will definitely be coming with us as a familiar treat to watch while we’re away! There is so much variety that it will keep everyone entertained (I almost feel I should insert the photo of Mr G watching the Dvd avidly while off work poorly but I had best not!)

The DVD features: Little Princess, Roary The Racing Car, Bert & Ernie, Fifi and the Flowertots, Mio Mao, Mr Men, Igam Ogam, Castle Farm, Harry and His Bucket Full of Dinosaurs, Hana’s Helpline, Bananas in Pyjamas, The Adventures of Bottletop Bill, Olivia, Thomas & Friends.

Competition

Abbey Home Media have kindly offered to giveaway 5 copies of the DVD to readers of the blog!

To enter:

Follow the blog via GFC and leave a comment below telling us which is your child’s favourite Milkshake Cartoon Character and why?

Please remember to leave either your twitter ID or an email so I can contact you if you win!

Competition CLOSED!

Winners selected using random.org were: Phyllgerry , Kasza, Firsttimemum, Rachdreaming, Mamapook

Please email me with your details so I can pass them onto Abbey Home Media and get your prize to each of you!

The competition closes at 9am on the 26th September 2011, the winner will be selected at random.
There are a total of 5 prizes to be won.
I reserve the right to re-draw the winner, in the event that the original winners do not  reply within 72hours.
Only one entry per person.
Only one prize per household!
Sorry, this competition is only open to UK residents

Back to School Treats with Whole Earth Foods

It’s that time of year where the days are already starting to get shorter, and as the children go back to or start school, thoughts turn to warming winter treats!

Whole Earth Food offer a variety of organic treats, yes I did say treats! They believe that eating organic is not only about being healthy but still having great flavours! Last year I reviewed their peanut butter and raved about how we enjoyed it, in fact it is still a regular on my shopping list and no other brand is acceptable in our household anymore!

We were lucky enough to be sent a variety of Whole Earth foods fantastic Chocolate Spreads to review!

The Dark Chocolate Spread came as perhaps the greatest surprise, I expected quite a bitter flavour and was amazed that actually the flavour is comparable with a rich dark bar of chocolate. There is a super recipe for Dark Chocolate Cupcakes which Boo & I are going to be trying out today! Boo happily sat eating it thickly spread onto toast only to ask for more at the end! It contains 30% cocoa and all the spreads are approved by the vegetarian society as suitable for vegetarians.

Crunchy Hazelnut Spread is packed full of crushed hazelnuts, it really is a nutty experience! Mr G & I loved this, Boo found that he didn’t enjoy the tiny bits of nuts in his teeth, although loved it when we spread it onto frozen banana ‘lollies’ as a chocolaty coating! It was divine on toast, really sweet and very luxurious! Mr G enjoyed this on toast in the morning and found he felt full until lunch.

Our absolute family favourite and in fact we have already bought another jar (actually two..) has to be the Chocolate & Caramel Swirl Spread it even sounds delicious doesn’t it? This was rich and creamy, when spread on toast it tasted almost like fudge! A teaspoonful sneakily enjoyed in the kitchen was better than a single chocolate liberated from an open box! It is the ultimate treat and perfect to brighten up dull autumn days! I’m experimenting with cooking with this one, and will endeavour to update my best discoveries!

Whole Earth food chocolate spreads contain no nasty preservatives or hydrogenated fats, making them ideal for making ‘dull toast’ into a tasty after-school treat! You can find Whole Earth Foods in major supermarkets as well as a variety of health food shops. Follow them on twitter or join their facebook page for more news and ideas!

Another year older, but none the wiser!

Over the weekend, I celebrated my Birthday, I realised I’m getting old as I was more intent on the children being happy then anything else! I didn’t really mind what I did or didn’t do as long as I had two happy bambinos!

Naively, I thought that by age 3, Boo would be easier to entertain. In fact I have decided age 3 is worse than age 2 was, as distraction no longer works! At least last year when he demanded to get out of the car while we were in the lion enclosure of a safari park I managed to distract him by getting him to look at the keeper in his 4X4.. This year I had to use ever ounce of my power of negotiation in the Lion and the Wolf enclosure as Boo was adamant, he was getting out.. It sounds silly writing it now, but I suddenly felt paranoia flowing through me, what if I hadn’t remember to put the child lock on the doors and he got out the car?!

 I must admit I was relieved to get into the relative safety of the giraffes, who strangely quietened Boo down and caused him to say  with his nose squashed against the glass ‘I wonder what they are thinking’. It’s a good point, and something that had never crossed my mind before, what are those beautiful creatures thinking as they are surrounded by people sat in cars snapping photos like paparazzi!

 Mr G treated us to tea, and Boo demanded the biggest cake he could see, while Elvis just cooed and tried to grab the tablecloth – at least my reactions are quicker these days. When the biggest cake had to be divided into two – (I am trying to lose my baby weight and it isn’t a rapid process!) – Boo decided to express his distaste by shouting ‘No!! That’s mine!! Mummy your not having any!’ at the top of his voice, much to the displeasure of the group of senior ladies from Germany at the next table. To these ladies, should they be reading, believe it or not, I didn’t particularly enjoy the shrill tone of his shrieking either. As I’m sure you could see, it was either let him shriek while I held onto the plate for dear life, or risk the cake actually flying across to join you on your table.

Of course Elvis slept all the way home in the car, so when we were ready to go to bed, he was wide awake and wanting to play. While Boo was crying saying he was tired and needed E to be quiet so he could sleep. I finally climbed into bed at  gone 2am, only to be woken by a lively Boo at 5am, so forgive me if my writing is slightly erratic! When will I learn, I’m not sure I ever will!

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Mini Naked Bodycare – Cute as a Button!!

Bath times are lots of fun in our house, Boo loves bubbles! However, Elvis has quite sensitive skin so we’ve been struggling to find products they can both enjoy!

The lovely ‘freebie fairy’ at Naked, sent me a bottle of ‘Cute as a Button’ bubble bath and ‘Knee high de-tangling shampoo’. The names made me smile, and I liked the no nonsense bottles – they aren’t brightly coloured or decorated with cartoon characters. In fact the bottles are rather special, they are 50 – 100% made of recycled plastic!

Naked products are atleast 97% natural, the other 3% is preservatives to avoid the products going off while on the shelf! Their products are paraben and SLS free, so they are as earth and skin friendly as possible!

Cute as a Button is exactly that, it creates a wealth of soft bubbles which Boo was delighted with and even Elvis enjoyed splashing his hands through them! The fragrance is subtle but very pleasant. Most importantly, Elvis could enjoy a bubble bath without his skin getting irritated!

Boo doesn’t enjoy having his hair washed, it is a series of screams and screeches and then I bribe him with the promise of an extra Octonauts story if he’ll let me wash his hair without anymore fuss! The Knee High detangling Shampoo smelt very nice, but, it wasn’t very easy to wash out..this meant Boo got quite frustrated and screamed and so inevitably so did Elvis! Their hair was lovely and easy to brush after we’d used it, and again it was gentle even on little ones sensitive skin!

Cute as a Button is definitely on my shopping list, and at £2.99 a bottle i might even treat myself to a bottle of it too!

Thanks to the lovely people at Naked for sending me these samples!

The taste test..Miniscoff

I blogged about Miniscoff, and told you that I’d read all these fantastic things about them and I thought they were fabulous, but we hadn’t tasted them. I also promised that we would taste them, and feedback what we thought via another blog post, well, here it is!

I have problems getting Boo to eat fish, unless it is in the form of a fish finger, even fish cakes are often met with content. So i decided the ultimate test would have to be Miniscoff Salmon Ocean Pie, yes I do like to make things difficult, but if I chose something Boo already really liked it wouldn’t be quite so much fun now would it?

Boo announced he was hungry, and so Miniscoff Salmon Ocean Pie was retrieved from the freezer and the instructions read! I was pleased to see it could be either oven cooked or microwaved from frozen, all to often when I grab things out the freezer they need to be defrosted first, so this was already a good sign!

After cooking I had a good delve into the pie, and was pleasantly surprised to see that there was easily identifiable chunks of salmon in a rich creamy sauce. At this point i did wonder whether I should attempt to conceal these chunks of fish, in an attempt to make Boo eat it, but decided this went against the whole point of this little task! So it was served as it was, and licked the serving spoon looking on at Boo eating his Miniscoff Ocean Pie with some considerable envy.

Boo looked at it and asked what it was called, ‘Ocean Pie’ I replied, he hesitated viewing the bowl with suspicion, then proceeded to tuck in without any fuss or need for further persuasion. In between forkfuls he told me it was ‘yummy’ and ‘very tasty!’. Hurrah, Boo was eating fish!

Miniscoff are available at Ocado and Abel & Cole

This is not a sponsored post.

Elmo & The Bookaneers! DVD review!

We received a new release DVD from @abbeykids to review, and as the weather has been less than brilliant, it has arrived at an ideal time!

Elmo & the Bookaneers focuses on a group of pirates who love to read – the Bookaneers! I must admit, I am quite impressed, as the content is not only fun but very educational, within the first few minutes the DVD introduces the word ‘Squid’ and the alphabet – although i was disappointed that the alphabet was merely recited and not sung! 

More familiar to Boo, Bert and Ernie feature in a short pirate themed feature, and the entire DVD contains plenty of songs which Boo has started to sing much to my delight! Boo didn’t speak properly until about 10months ago, and his speaking is still poor for age 3, so I am in favour of anything which will inspire his language skills!

Boo is quite a good tester for DVDs, as his attention span for watching the television is well, non-existent! However he is sat watching Elmo for at least the 4th time, with delight while I type this, and singing the catchy song ‘Pirates who love to Read’.

The Bookaneers take a trip to the library, something which I have never done with Boo (we have an abundance of books – i have a book obsession!) but something he is now curious about and so i think we will have to visit!

In summary, this is a fantastic DVD to encourage young readers, it also appears to help with language skills, and most importantly inspires little imaginations to grow! Perfect for giving your little one a helping hand before the new school term!

 It is available from all good DVD stockists now RRP: £5.99

Happy Birthday Pat!!

When I was about 3, I was given a pull along Postman Pat van, which was also a shape sorter. I loved it, long after I’d out grown a shape sorter I would drag this little red van around everywhere and make little letters to deliver to my dolls. Postman Pat was always on at around the time I was sat down for lunch after a morning at play school, and I would sit transfixed watching Pat making his deliveries – I always loved the episodes involving Ted the farmer!

Luckily for me, Boo is rather keen on Postman Pat too, so I have an excuse to relive my youth and watch still with much the same delight Pat on his rounds! Of course, like me things have changed for Postman Pat and in fact he has a Special Delivery Service now with lots of technology to help him, and complete with an even catchier theme tune!

Boo took great delight in tearing open a large parcel the other day, and pulled out to both of our surprise a large red SDS Postman Pat Van! While Boo ran around squealing with delight, I was able to read the enclosed paperwork and gasp as I realised Postman Pat is going to be 30 years old on 16th September 2011!

To celebrate Postman Pat turning 30 years Old, he is asking children to send him a Birthday card! Any child who sends him a card will receive a reply from the man himself, via Email!

To send Postman Pat a birthday card or drawing, make sure you include a valid email address and your child’s name and send them to:

Postman Pat
Evolution PR
The Abbey Centre
Daventry
NN11 4XG

On a Bumpy Road..Weaning..

Elvis is 7months, and has always been great at eating solids until last week that is, when he decided they weren’t for him. I still have no idea what caused his sudden and rather worrying burst of anxiety whenever faced with anything which wasn’t a bottle of milk at mealtimes. Bowls of puree have been flying across the room as his temper flared and my patience was tested to the limit, especially with Boo being helpful with such comments as ‘I don’t think he wants that Mummy’…

 I have discovered if I can get big brother Boo to sit with him and eat the same things, we get a better result but sometimes Boo is less accommodating and doesn’t want to eat ‘baby food’. So here I am sitting on a Sunday afternoon with a terrible head ache, wondering what delight to tempt Elvis with next?  I’m reminding myself that tomorrow is another day, he won’t starve while he’s on formula and he will eat if he eats with us which although logistically is a nightmare, at least shows he is a social eater!

Progress today, breakfast was eaten without much fuss and a partially mashed banana was devoured for lunch. He appears to want chunky textures to chew on, and has missed that in between stage entirely, I think left to himself he’d tuck into a big cheese sandwich! So for today at least, weaning is making steady progress again. Time for me to get my thinking cap on, to keep his taste buds happy!

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