Monthly Archives: August 2012

Silver Spoons Little Local Hero Awards and the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning!

Each year Macmillan Cancer Support help people whose lives are affected by cancer, on 28th September 2012 you can help raise vital funds for the charity by taking part in the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning. Whether you organise an event through your friends, work mates, family or even at your school or nursery, (or attend your friends!) the money raised will go to towards funding the amazing work and support Macmillan provide.  You can register to hold a coffee morning here.

On the 24th August, Macmillan and Silver Spoon have launched ‘Silver Spoons Little Local Hero Awards’. They are looking for children under 18 who have done something very special and deserving of recognition, whether it be looking after a sick sibling, gone the extra mile to make Mothers Day special or raised money for charity. Eric Lanlard will help judge the winner, and their prize will be a cake of the winners choice baked by Eric himself.

There will also be 10 runners up, who will each receive a hamper of baking goodies form Silver Spoon. To nominate you need to explain in 100 words or less who you are nominating, why and what you would bake them to say ‘Thanks!’. I always like to bake chocolate cake to say thanks, how about you?

Simply Hike – Take Trunki on your Travels!

Simply Hike – camping equipment store, asked if we’d like to review something from their Trunki range! Boo was excited as he got to choose which Trunki he had, within about 30 seconds he decided that he wanted Harley the Ladybird Trunki Suitcase! 

Harley Ladybird Trunki Luggage

If you don’t know about Trunki’s where have you been?! You will see them in airports around the world, as well as increasingly in camp sites! Yes I did say camp sites, any parent with a young child knows, deciding whether or not you can fit the ride on toy into the car to take camping is not a decision taken lightly! Those extra minutes spent whizzing about on their ride on toy may make the difference to get a good nights sleep! Trunki acts as luggage but also a very sturdy ride on toy!

As soon  as Harley arrived, Boo wasted no time in trying him out, and we thought we’d try to video our experience but unfortunately Boo went a little camera shy!


The great thing about Trunki in my experience is that Boo learns about packing his things for our trips away, and looking after it! The only trouble is teaching him that while bringing his entire car collection may seem like a great idea while we’re at home, when we’re away he might prefer some other things! There is a suprising amount of space in the trunki, and apart from his shoes we worked out we could actually pack all of Boo’s clothes for a week into the case! From a camping point of view, it’s ideal as clothes or toys stay clean! The last bag for Boo we took camping with us managed to get milk over it and this resulted in me spending a day hand washing his clothes..yes, a beginners error!

There are two handles to carry Trunki by, and of course a strap to pull Trunki along while your child enjoys the ride, or in Boo’s case enjoys pulling the case himself!


Harley the Trunki has proved to be robust, Boo even tested it by launching it down his slide a few times (not that I would recommed you try this but this was in the interests of reviewing) it survived without a scratch!:


Many Thanks to Simply Hike for allowing us to review the Trunki, it has already been on it’s first adventure and we look forward to taking it on many more!

Disclaimer: We received the Trunki for the purposes of the review, all opinions are my own.

Play Fest: Orchard Toys Jungle Express Puzzle!

Jigsaw Puzzles are very popular in our house, Boo loves sitting and taking them time to carefully find each piece, but I do find that I don’t necessarily use the puzzle to help Boo to learn as much as I possibly should, sometimes it is difficult to think where to begin! The Jungle Express puzzle from Orchard Toys has a variety of questions suggested to help you get the most from the puzzle! Not only are the numbers nicely displayed on the puzzle but also you get to think about names of the animals riding the train, where they might be going and use simple Mathematics in a fun way!

This was our first video review, and Boo was a little camera shy but I hope you can see how popular with him it is! He’s about to start school, and I really hope it will help him to be encouraged to try hard with his Mathematics!

Thanks to IzziWizzi and Orchard Toys for allowing us to review the puzzle for Playfest!

Making Hand and Foot prints in the Sand – Plaster of Paris Craft!

I read somewhere on a blog a year or two ago about making plaster footprints. Feeling sentimental that Boo is starting school I suddenly had the urge to preserve the memory of how small he is at the moment! I did a similar thing with clay about a year ago but I didn’t want lots of the same around the house!

Taking a shallow tray we filled it with dry sand from the sandpit then carefully Boo pressed his foot and a hand into the sand leaving impressions:

We then mixed some plaster of Paris and I poured it into the impressions. After an hour I braved lifting them out but let them dry overnight before we started painting! Before you wonder why Boo’s hand print has 6 digits, this was our first attempt and Boo rather enjoyed slopping the plaster mix into the sand moulds, I’m fairly sure that we can gently sand the hand down but he was keen to get painting so we’re showing you our work in progress!

I cheated and spray painted the food impression with a can of gold paint:


Boo however expressed his lively personality by painting a multitude of colours:

Cute hey? I’m wondering if I can coat Boo’s painted version in PVA glue to give it a glossy finish? What do you think? I’ve carefully dated the backs of the prints so I can see how much how little he was in years to come!

Starting School – Have I done enough?

I have fallen into a trap which I swore I never would. I have started to worry that I haven’t taught Boo enough, started to compare his abilities with other children. I’ve started to be anxious that all the other children will know more and he’ll start behind the others and immediately be labelled less-able.

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Catch up with the City of Friends on Milkshake and a chance to WIN!

The City of Friends is a popular cartoon in our house, the combination of learning about how to be a good friend and the emergency services makes it an instant hit with my boys! I was contacted by City of Friends, to let you know that Max (Trainee-police officer), Elphie (trainee fire fighter), Ted (trainee paramedic) and Jumpi (the lively hare) will be making appearances on the Milkshake Show all next week (from Monday 20th August 2012). They’ll be helping read the Birthday cards as well as show viewers pictures!

To celebrate, City of Friends have offered a plush prize to 1 lucky winner of the contest below! There is 1 x Max 1 x Elphie and 1 x Ted plush up for grabs,  ONE winner will win all THREE plush toys! City of Friends is shown weekdays on Channel 5’s Milkshake at 6.20am, Saturdays at 6.15am and Sundays at 6.25am!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Bear with me while I explain..

A couple of weeks ago we purchased a Build-a-Bear wardrobe for a bargain price, Boo is quite keen on these bears thanks to his slightly older cousin, and has had a few bits and pieces over the last 12months. He pointed out to me as only a 4 year old can, that his wardrobe was lovely but a bit sparse, what was a bear to do with only one change of clothes – a Christmas outfit?! I pointed out that he could ask Father Christmas for another bear outfit, but until then we were avoiding the bear shop, and that was the end of that. 

Well, it was until we went to the carboot sale a week ago, we came across a lady selling a huge pile of bears! I was admittedly perhaps more excited than Boo, and rummaged through the haul! I had to stop and remember that we do not need any more bears, that and the voice over my shoulder slightly hysterically squealing ‘NO MORE BEARS!!’ (that was Mr G!). So we wondered off..on pottering back through making our way out of the sale, I noticed a small pile of clothes on bear lady’s stand…and then this happened:

Total spend: £3 

Play value, well E is currently learning all about how to put the bears clothes on and Boo is enjoying tidying up and putting the things into the wardrobe and telling me the bear is actually a dog called Patch due to the patch of white over his eye. 

Once the boys are finished playing with them, hopefully they’ll all find another new home!

Did you find any fabulous Magpie bargains this week?

Keeping up the momentum..

London 2012 has been such an inspiring Olympic games! I’ve watched with Boo and heard him excited by the swimming, sailing, rowing and in awe of the gymnasts and diving! We didn’t manage to get tickets, but we did enjoy the experience via our visit to London – Mascot spotting! I’m a little sad that it’s over. However, I’m already excited and looking forward to what the Paralympics will bring!

 I’ve been aware that I need to get as fit as I can for several months, and I feel inspired to try quite a bit harder having watched some amazing athletes! I need to keep the momentum going with Boo as he’s so keen to get involved in sport and the best way I can see is to lead by example surely? I hasten to add I mean by being physically fit and I don’t mean I’ll be trying out the diving or gymnastics! 

I’ve decided I need to set myself a challenge, so the first is to swim 200m in 4minutes. I have no idea how long it currently takes me to swim 200m but I’m fairly sure it’s a lot longer than that! While I love swimming, my technique is dismal! The next challenge is to try to teach Boo to swim before the end of the year. I love swimming, and while I don’t anticipate Boo being a future Olympic swimmer, I want to encourage his interest in swimming and hopefully ensure he has some decent technique!

Is anyone else feeling inspired by the Olympians? 

My Pocket Buddy – Hand Sanitiser!

Keeping hands clean and germ free is top priority for us, especially with an array of pets! When we’re out and about it is often harder to keep hands clean in between playing and having a snack, and wet wipes or hand cleaning gel come into play! Hand gel is often to harsh on little hands, and while I have my personal preference I’m always willing to try something new!

Opure sent us a sample of their My Pocket Buddy, a handy hand sanitiser. Shaped like a pen, it would easily fit in a pencil case, lunch box or even a suit pocket!

Obviously, I can’t comment on the efficiency of killing germs or anything like that, but here’s what we thought!

I liked the fact it was a handy size, there is a good space to write your name on – ideal for not losing it if you take it to school or work! 

It is a spray as opposed to a gel or foam, and we found that we had to use quite a few sprays in order to feel it on the skin. The spray action was a little too hard for Boo to do himself and get it on his hands (instead of everywhere else!) which was a shame as he quickly objected to Mummy having to do it for him. At 96p (plus p&p) it is a bargain, and I’ve used it happily at the gym to keep my hands clean between apparatus. I think when Boo is a little older he’ll manage the spray, and until then it’s ideal for taking on picnics or for me to use at the gym! It doesn’t dry my skin out, and the scent is subtle.

Disclaimer: I was sent the product in return for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

I want a Mr Joe Brown!

The day Mr G and I got together, he was wearing a green cable jumper with a beige cable jumper underneath.. Yes, it was as terrible as it sounds, but somehow I saw through this! When I finally got my hands on his wardrobe, I realised there was a distinct ‘green and beige’ theme, and let’s face it they’re not the most exciting colours are they? After several months of careful persuasion, Mr G started to wear colour and was no longer the green man. 
He is however taking some time to learn that everything should be in moderation:

Yes Mr G, I am naming and shaming you publicly, and just be thankful I didn’t take the photo while you had your sandals on with your socks!

SO, this post is my plea to be considered as Mr and Mrs Joe Browns, as you can see Mr G really needs some styling help, so do I but his need is greater! Or imagine what he’ll be wearing on our honeymoon?!!

I can imagine Mr G wearing this with a pair of jeans and smart brown shoes:

Photo Joe Browns.

As for me, I’m struggling to sort my wardrobe out, changing shape post children has left me struggling to decide what works and what really doesn’t!

I adore this dress, whether it would suit me I’m not sure but it’s such a pretty print, ideal for a romantic dinner for two:

Photo: Joe Browns

This is my entry into the Mr and Mrs Joe Brown Contest.