Southend Toy Shop – Argosy Toys AKA Toymaster

I’ve driven past Southend toy shop Argosy Toys AKA Toymaster since I was a child and always looked through the windows in awe! With its bright yellow front, you can’t miss this Southend toy shop. If you look a little closer you will a selection of all kinds of children’s toys. They also have an online store.

Southend Toy Shop Toymaster

Southend Toy Shop - Argosy Toys AKA Toymaster

I was shocked to find out Argosy Toys are a small independently run toy shop owned and run by Paul. Having worked there for close to 30 years is pretty impressive for any toy shop! It must be lovely for the locals growing up, recognising Paul behind the counter and going on to take their own children in to buy toys too.

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Argosy Toys

Argosy Toys donate a big chunk of their small profits to SOS Domestic Abuse, local schools and Southend Hospitals Neptune Ward. I admire anyone who uses their small business to support causes like these and hearing Argosy toys could do with some extra local support, felt the need to share with you all this gem!

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Stocking thousands of toys including big brands, this shop has a whole range of fab toys. They have something for all age ranges and interests. If you are passing through then please pop in and support this lovely shop. Don’t forget, you can order online too! Whether you take the kids in to pick for themselves or find something yourself as a gift, you’ll be supporting good causes too.

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You can also buy from Argosy Toys online with £2.99 delivery or free delivery on orders over £40. Perfect for big birthday orders! From Hatchimals, LOL dolls, Playmobil and flush force you are bound to find the perfect gift and make someone’s day.

Have you ever visited this Southend toy shop before or perhaps spotted it driving past?


First-Time Mum – A Letter To Myself #VicksBabyRub

I wrote a letter to myself as a first-time mum as part of the Britmums #VicksBabyRub Challenge. looking back to those days really did get me thinking about what I would tell myself. There are so many things I wish someone had told me. I was sent a gorgeous notebook & pen to help me jot down all those tips, tricks & simple pieces of advice a first-time mum deserves.

First-Time Mum #VicksBabyRub


To A First-Time Mum


Being a first-time mum is both terrifying and exciting. Everything is about to change but you CAN do this! Pregnancy is exhausting and being a first-time mum is just as exhausting yet so rewarding. I have a few tips to help make the first year much easier for you. Everyone tells you to sleep when the baby sleeps but what if baby doesn’t sleep?

When Baby Isn’t Sleeping

Babies are well known to be terrible when it comes to sleeping but there usually is a reason. As a first-time mum, it can be so overwhelming when your baby is crying, here’s a few reasons your baby may cry & products to help soothe them.

Vicks Baby Rub – Perfect for soothing your little one, this moisturising and soothing rub is designed to comfort babies. A combination of mum/dads touch along with mild fragrances of Rosemary, Lavender & Aloe Vera can help soothe and calm your little one. Vicks Baby Rub is a cosmetic, non-medicated product which can be used at any time to help wind down & settle your baby.

Infacol – Colic is so stressful for baby and parents but Infacol is an absolute life-saver! With a handy pipette built into the lid, Infacol is easy to give to your little one and helps relieve Colic.

Dentinox/Bonjela/Ashton & Parsons Powders – Teething is possibly the worst part of parenting, knowing your little one is in pain is hard to bear. These fab products are designed to help ease the pain and soothe your little one.

Sudocream/Bepanthen – Nappy rash is a nightmare, it looks awful and causes little ones to cry out in pain. Creams like Sudocream and Bepanthen are specially designed to help heal and soothe babies skin.

Calpol/Nurofen – If all else fails and your little one is clearly in a lot of discomfort, or has a slight temperature, painkillers can help. Always read the labels & correct dosage instructions. Remember smalle/premature babies will need a smaller dose. Talk to your GP if you are unsure.

Helpful Notes

Money Saving

It can sometimes feel like we have to buy certain brands & products with little ones but the truth is there are some less-known brands that are just as good. Take Mamis Nappies & Wipes, for instance, these cost a lot less than most brands and just as good, if not better in my own opinion.

Bulk-buy products you know you will need such as nappies, wipes, washing powder, fabric softener & dishwasher tablets. Buying items like these in bulk can save you quite a bit of money which can be better spent elsewhere.

It’s OK!

It’s OK to make mistakes, everyone does as a first-time mum don’t let them get you down. You won’t always know what is wrong with your baby or what to do. Do what comes naturally, you’ll be fine! It’s so easy to blame yourself and feel guilty because you forgot to bin that nappy or wash up bottles. It happens, you’ve just spent 9 months growing a tiny human which is draining enough. Add in an exhausting delivery & a baby who sleeps very little. It’s hardly surprising little things will be forgotten when we are sleep deprived. Ask for help if you feel too tired and need help catching up on chores.

First-Time Mum Letter to myself

Believe In Yourself

It is so easy to feel like you have no clue what you are doing. Trust your instincts though, they will often be right on point! Don’t blame yourself if you can’t breastfeed, it happens, as long as your baby is fed and happy it’s OK. You are doing your best!

If you feel something is wrong, act on it. If you think something isn’t right with your little one contact your HV or 111 for advice. As a first-time mum, it can feel like nobody trusts your judgement but you know your baby best.

Enjoy The Early Days

Make sure you enjoy the early days as a first-time mum. The washing up can wait, the tidying doesn’t need to be done right now. Focus on your baby and you and getting through each day, getting to know each other and enjoying those baby days. We often get caught up in trying to look like we have it all together. The truth is none of us really do, we all lose track and forget things at times. Just remember you are doing the best you can and that’s what matters most. Your baby won’t remember how tidy the house but they will feel the bond growing between you as you spend time together just enjoying those early days.

Remember, you CAN do this!

This post is an entry for BritMums #VicksBabyRub Challenge, sponsored by Vicks BabyRub. Specially designed for babies aged 6 months and over, Vicks BabyRub is available at Boots, Superdrug, Tesco, Asda, Waitrose and all good pharmacy chains. RRP £3.99.




Country-Themed Fun With Our Little Globe

We’ve been having Country-themed fun with Our Little Globe subscription box. This fun box was created to encourage children to explore and spread the message that #DifferentIsBrilliant! I loved the idea of Our Little Globe when I first heard of it. We love trying out subscription boxes .

Country-Themed fun with our little globe


Country-Themed Fun

Our Little Globe subscription boxes encourage children to read, craft and cook as they learn about other cultures whilst having fun. Spreading the important message of acceptance and tolerance through fun activities through this subscription box. The girls have a keen interest to learn about the world around them and this fab subscription definitely encourages that.


Our little globe suitcase


Our Little Globe

We opened our fun little suitcase to discover a range of items inside. These included a letter, a craft, a passport, world map, spice, recipe cards, stickers and a picture scene. Our boxes theme is Spain. The girls were really excited to find out more about Spain. Eva has a friend who is Spanish and she regularly looks up words to help talk to her in class so she hoped to learn more from Our Little Globe box.

Our Little Globe letter

Eva read out the letter which was filled with fun facts about Spain, with the picture showing them the monkeys in Gibraltar. The girls found out about Las Tomatatos, where the whole town comes together to throw tomatoes at each other! Of course, the girls said they would love to try that out.


Our Little Globe country-themed fun craft activities are designed for children to do independently. This means they can build confidence and skills in problem-solving through creative play.

Our little globe craft


Our country-themed craft was decorating a Salamander which the girls really enjoyed. With all the items provided for the craft, it took no time at all for the girls to get stuck in making their colourful Salamander.

Salamander craft

Family Cooking Fun

Recipe cards provided by Our Little Globe are designed to help foster quality time with family that results in home-cooked meals that can be enjoyed by everyone.

Our little globe recipe card & spice

With all the ingredients on the card and the bag of paprika to add to our dish Eva set off cooking Chicken Paella for dinner. The instructions were on the back of the card to help you along.

Eva cooking chicken paella

After a little while Eva was happy to announce dinner was done and we all sat down to try out the Spanish dish, chicken paella.

Chicken Paella

Our Spanish themed recipe cards including Chicken or Seafood Paella with a sachet of Smoked paprika provided. Eva helped to cook the Paella with us opting for Chicken. The dish was quick and simple enough.




Our Little Globe offers a Monthly, 6-month or 12-month subscription with a different country-themed fun activity box at the end of each month. Each country-themed fun subscription includes free delivery.

The prices for these subscriptions are:

Monthly – £12.95
6 Monthly – £74.95
12 Monthly – £145.00

What do you think of Our Little Globe?

The Great Oreo Cookie Quest – Can You Spot Them All?

For the Great Oreo Cookie Quest, we were sent 2 packs* to enjoy during family moments. Oreos are a delicious & fun snack for all the family! Oreo is celebrating #OreoCookieQuest with fun ways to win great prizes. With the new on-pack promotion you can win a once-in-a-lifetime wonder-filled trip to California and the Googleplex!! We’ve hidden 10 Oreos in this post for fun, can you spot them all?

The Great Oreo Cookie Quest


Watching A Film

2 Oreos with a glass of milk is a perfect treat for anyone at anytime. The Great Oreo Cookie Quest seemed like a great way to spend more mother-daughter time with Eva across the weekend. Eva loves Oreos and enjoyed having them as a treat when we snuggled up to watch a film together!

The Great Oreo Cookie Quest


I’ve been teaching Eva to crochet lately, and whilst we had a small hiccup after discovering she crochets left-handed, she is learning. When she gets frustrated we take a quick break and an Oreo quickly puts a smile back on her face. We’ve been practising chaining which she can do with finger knitting so she is picking up confidence bit by bit. We found some fab tutorials online for lefties (I am left handed but crochet right handed!) so I’m sure she will get the hang of it soon!

Oreos & Crochet

Creative Homework

It’s been a slow process with lots going on recently but we have been working on a 3D model of Mount Merapi for Eva’s creative homework. She has been reading The Firework Makers Daughter at school and couldn’t wait to make the model. After several layers of papier mache, it is finally dry and ready to paint! Hopefully, we can hand it in this week!



As I mentioned in a few recent posts, Eva is becoming a big reader like I was at her age, she speeds through books in a day or 2. I try to encourage her to read to herself and out loud to us, she loves reading out loud. Whilst we were spending some one on one time comfortably reading on the bed we treated ourselves to an Oreo.

Reading with Oreos

Eva really enjoyed reading about the human body in this interesting pop-up book. She loved finding out how our bodies work and can name so many body parts and their functions. I love the detail in the book and listening to Eva reading with confidence.

Oreo challenge

Did you find all 10 Oreos in our photo’s? Do you love Oreos too?

*This post is an entry for Britmums #OreoCookieQuest, sponsored by Oreo.


DIY Daddy

Personalised Kids Clothing From Teether

We received gorgeous personalised kids clothing from Teether for the girls this week. Personalised anything is a win for my girls, especially having harder to find names. Teether offers a fantastic range of personalised clothing with a range of printed designs available. From personalised kids clothing such as pyjamas, baby vests, baby grows, t-shirts & more you are bound to find something you like.

Personalised Kids Clothing From Teether

Personalised Kids Clothing

Izzy is a star on mummy's blog pyjamas


High-quality clothing from baby to adult, Teether really do offer a fantastic personalisation service. All this at a great price too. We received a gorgeous set of personalised pyjamas for Izzy. She is on the bigger side for 3 years old and we have had to start buying 5-6 years in pyjamas. Mostly for the trouser length as she has super long legs but these are 4-5 years and actually have some room for her to grow in to!

Izzy is a star on mummy's blog pjs

Izzy chose to have ‘Izzy is the star of mummy’s blog on’ printed on hers which made her day! They are so soft and the colours of the prints are so vibrant and shiny. She looks a little smug here too in the very few shots I managed to take with her staying still!

Personalised Pyjamas

She looks so cute in these and they are ‘snuggly’ so she really loves them, I can see them being spotted on Instagram regularly haha!


Unicorn + Mermaid + Princess Top

Eva loved the pyjamas but she spotted a design she preferred much more and it definitely suits her personality. She really wanted it on a long sleeved top so she could wear it out. I was a little worried as she is really fussy when it comes to clothing. Labels are usually a big bother for her but she found this top really comfortable.

Unicorn + Mermaid + Princess = Eva-Raye

The ‘Unicorn + Mermaid + Princess = Eva-Raye’ design couldn’t have been any more perfect. Teether really did a fantastic job with this and we are both ecstatic with the result. As you can see below Eva loves anything colourful and now she matches her build-a-bear too!

Personalised t-shirt


It’s safe to say we all love the fab designs and clothing from Teether and would definitely recommend them. You can find Teether over on Facebook & Instagram if you want to find out more and see more of their fab range or visit their site.

What do you think of Teether’s personalised kids clothing?

Snow Day Fun 2018

The girls enjoyed some Snow day fun yesterday as did many other children around the UK. This was Eva’s first school snow day and when I told her school was cancelled we all cheered! Izzy had never actually touched snow until we got downstairs. She was so surprised it was soft to touch and loved how it felt, collecting handfuls of snow as we walked.

Snow Day

Collecting Snow

The girls quickly got into the spirit of things grabbing snow to ball up and throw and each other. Eva was a little younger than Izzy last time it really snowed so she doesn’t really remember it well. She really enjoyed the chance to play yesterday having sulked at the lack of snow the night before.

Snow Day Fun

You can see in this picture just how excited and happy the girls were to finally experience their first snow day. With enough snow to cover our feet, we decided to wander down to the river and enjoy crunching through the snow some more. Of course, not before the girls had practised making snowballs first!

Snow ball!

We took a walk along the sea wall, taking in the fresh early morning air as it was only just 9am when we ventured out. The girls played along the way, exploring over the steps to see the old lightship and back again. On the way back the girls decided they wanted to pose as statues… Not very good statues mind!

Snow StatuesIzzy was a little more concerned she couldn’t shake off all the snow on her glove to be fair! I’m not too sure what Eva’s ‘statue’ is supposed to be though! We headed back to play closer to home and eventually went inside to warm up.

All in all we had a lovely Snow day, did you?

Burnished Chaos

Chilean Easy Peelers Clementines & Mandarins

We received a box of Chilean easy peelers clementine’s & mandarins to help make back-to-school snacks & lunches tasty and convenient. Chilean clementine’s and mandarins deliciously juicy and full of vitamin C. They are also a great source of water to help keep you hydrated. The UK demand for Chilean easy peelers is growing due the convenience, seedless fruits, sweet flavour and hydration. UK demand for Chilean easy peelers has grown by 32% year on year and last season 2,000 tonnes were sold in the UK.



Chilean Easy Peel Clementine’s & Mandarins

Now in season the Chilean easy peelers clementine’s and mandarins provide a rich source of fibre, calcium and magnesium. A fantastically nutritious snack for everyone available from September to November, perfect for the back to school season. Containing around 87% water they are perfect for keeping children hydrated, perfect for hot days. Chilean easy peelers are low in calories & fat, they are a good source of vitamins and minerals. Helping to provide children with fibre, folate, vitamin C, potassium, calcium and magnesium they are an ideal fruit.

A Quick Snack

Short on time? Chilean easy peelers clementine’s and mandarins are a quick and easy snack to give your child. A great start or end to the day even when you are in a rush.

After a busy day at school children can feel exhausted, giving them a Chilean easy peelers clementine’s or mandarin Is a great way to hydrate & give them a boost. Eva has recently started swimming lessons at school and has been coming back very pale & tired. We gave her a Chilean easy peelers clementine and she loved it, no stressing she couldn’t get it open at all.

Chilean easy peel

Ideal For Packed Lunches & School Trips

Chilean easy peelers are great alone as a snack or with other fruits to make a delicious fruit salad. Easy peelers are great to add to packed lunches or snacks for school trips to ensure your child has something nutritious throughout the day. As children can easily peel the fruits themselves they are more likely to eat them. Waiting for a teacher to help peel fruit can mean they get left untouched. Being able to peel the fruit themselves means children are less likely to leave them untouched.

Chilean easy peelers

Have you tried Chilean easy peeler clementine’s and manadarins before? Does your child find them easier too?

*This post is an entry for the BritMums #ChileanEasyPeelers Challenge, sponsored by Chilean Citrus Committee.

Growing & Preparing Our Windowsill Peppers For A Delicious Salad

The girls have been growing peppers on the windowsill over the last few months. It was much easier to grow our own food when we had a garden but we still try to see what we can achieve on our windowsills. Peppers are something Eva & Izzy thought we should try, so we gave them a go. You may have seen some of my Instagram posts from when they first began to grow. The one below is Eva’s huge red pepper!

The First Pepper

The girls peppers are growing nicely on their windowsill!

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Changing Colour

Over the last 2 months the peppers have slowly changed colour from green to red on Eva’s plant and from green to yellow on Izzy’s. A complete accident but a great way to tell them apart! We all enjoyed keeping an eye on the peppers changing and couldn’t wait to see how they turned out and tasted.

The girls peppers are growing and changing colour this week! They can’t wait to try them 😊

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Ready To Chop!

Both girls were really excited when the Mr told them their peppers were finally ready to chop. They headed out excitedly to buy the other bits they wanted to create a delicious salad for everyone to have Sunday night. With a bit of help from the Mr they both cut their own peppers off!

The girls have cut off their peppers & are making a delicious salad for everyone with them tonight 😍

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Preparing The Peppers

We explained to the girls they needed to wash their peppers before they could eat them. They were more than happy to get their hands wet and give them a good wash.



Once the peppers were washed and dried it was time to cut them up for our salad. We were surprised to find another pepper had tried growing inside Eva’s red one! 

The Delicious Salad!


The peppers were absolutely lovely & we all enjoyed them. I could quite happily eat it all over again!

Have you grown & eaten your own fruit & veg?


Izzy’s 3rd Birthday Weekend Celebrations

It was Izzy’s 3rd Birthday yesterday! Thanks to Martyn, Hannah & all the kids Izzy also had a lovely BBQ party. Izzy loves food so although she said she didn’t want a birthday party a BBQ was acceptable.

She loved munching away on sweet treats, sausages & burgers across the day.  I caught her looking pretty chilled out with all the kids watching TV, munching away haha!

Munch time

Hannah had some fab party supplies that the kids all loved, especially the Pinata and party bags! All the kids had fun scrabbling to get the most sweets.

We loved the pirate cake candles too & this lovely birthday cake. 😍 I totally need those for my birthday too! 😉

Birthday Cake

We had a slight accident where Izzy hit her head quite hard and ended up with a small cut. She was soon happily playing and eating again though. She even seemed slightly impressed looking at herself in the mirror! 

Proud of her war wound

Izzy loved spending the day with everyone and singing her favourite song with Martyn. ‘Beer Beer Beer – an ode to Charlie Mops’ she heard at the Rochester Dickens festival and has loved it ever since! 

Izzy & Martyn

Izzy’s 3rd Birthday

After a very long busy day and a rather late night she finally woke up after an hour of me waiting impatiently to celebrate her 3rd birthday. Snuggling up on the sofa with daddy to help her unwrap her presents she squealed excitedly as I passed each one over. 

Izzy's 3rd Birthday

Along with my Paw Patrol haul all from pound shops apart from the lookout tower I think she did fairly well! Izzy also got a cool looking scooter with tilt steering which she couldn’t wait to try out. She is slowly getting the hang of tilting it and pushing herself along.

Garnet Fairy Dress from Pretend To Bee

She received this absolutely gorgeous Garnet Fairy Set from Pretend to Bee which she couldn’t wait to put on! Complete with wings, wand & headband this gorgeous outfit is adorable & something Izzy would have picked out herself. She has barely taken it off since and wanted it on first thing this morning! I wouldn’t definitely say it is well worth £25 for this stunning fairy set, the dress is so well made and lovely and soft inside.

Garnet Fairy Dress From Pretend To Bee
Putting a spell on Mummy!

Across the day a few of our friends came by with even more presents & she was most definitely spoilt! It was most definitely all about Paw Patrol this year, she has a huge Sky & Everest balloon and lots of new characters & vehicles! Eva got a lovely soft Rainbow Dash too so she didn’t feel left out which was lovely!

We ended Izzy’s birthday with yet another birthday cake. Afterwards she happily went off to bed hugging her Skye LED Night light. I think it’s safe to say she has had a fantastic 3rd birthday!

3rd Birthday Cake

I always worry that lack of family will make special occasions a bit rubbish, most kids have aunts, uncles, cousins etc to play with so Martyn & Hannah organising a BBQ for Izzy means a lot. It meant she got to spend the day playing with other kids and having fun!


Rochester Dickens Festival 2017

We spent Sunday at the Rochester Dickens Festival with Martyn & the boys, enjoying the sunshine, actors, music, food & scenery. It was the 350th anniversary of the Battle of Medway so there was plenty going on in Rochester & surrounding areas for the entire weekend.

Rochester Dickens Festival

Rochester Dickens Festival

After attending the Medway English Festival with Martyn and the boys we were looking forward to joining them again for a lovely day out. With a nice early start we managed to get to Rochester just before everything started, giving us plenty of time to have a slow wander around.


We came across some brilliant actors over the course of the day but the first Fagin we bumped into Izzy absolutely loved! She couldn’t wait to get in a picture with him, sitting on his knee. He was wandering around looking for the owner of the lost pants in his hand.

We found another Fagin a little while later too and all the kids jumped in for a picture this time! Both actors were fantastic and really interacted with the kids which was brilliant. It was nice to see the girls enjoying the characters too although Eva was a little worried about the clock face guy!

There were so many different Dickens characters wandering around and people who simply dressed up and joined in too. It made the day quite fun having different characters chatting to us & the girls really seemed to enjoy it. Eva was a little unsure about a few costumes but still enjoyed herself.



We stopped to watch the dancing which was absolutely fantastic and Izzy especially loved it, joining in with her own little dance too. Moving on we came across these actors singing ‘Beer Beer Beer’ an ode to Charlie Mops the inventor of beer!

charlie mops beer beer beer

Everyone joined in with the chorus which was quite fun even though it was a small group as it was still fairly early in the day. It was interesting to see so many different characters up to different things. We’re definitely interested in going to the Rochester Dickens Festival again next year so we can catch more of them!

Grand Parade

Next we watched the parade with bagpipes playing & a range of characters, I loved this purple dress! I had to get a video of it all as there were some fab costumes. Most of the Actors were really amusing & played the role so well! I had to take a few videos of the parade as it was so fun, here’s one video, you can find the rest on my YouTube channel.

After the parade the boys got stopped by bobbies on stilts! ‘They went that way officer.. honest!’. These guys were hilarious chatting away and asking who the ring leader was haha!

That way officer


Food & Drink

After the parade we headed up to the castle, stopping for doughnuts & ice cream. Another vintage ice cream van was selling ice cream, although a little pricey! We then headed up to the castle grounds where tons of stalls were dotted around full of goodies!


Cupcakes & cookies

The girls decided they wanted gingerbread men to take home from Cupcakes & cookies which the girls said were delicious! Unfortunately they got a little bashed up in my bag but the girls enjoyed them anyway.

Treats To Take Home

We also popped by Sudzz again to get Eva another super exploding pink bath bomb and some soaps for both girls. Sudzz bath bombs are amazingly explosive & Eva LOVES them! The cute heart soaps are all different scents too.


Simply True Jewellery were there too, so we took them all to get another £1 lucky dip. The boys got skull necklaces again but different to their last 2. Eva got a clear heart necklace & Izzy a star necklace. For £1 I’m still can’t get over the quality of the necklaces! At this rate I’ll be ordering a jewellery box just for Jewellery we buy from Simply True Jewellery!

Stopping off for lunch the kids had a picnic whilst Martyn, the Mr & I had chips & burgers from Scoff & Sip.

Having lined our stomachs the Mr was of course on the Goody Ales again. Although Goody Ales themselves weren’t there the beer stall had beers from several breweries.

Goody Ales

Martyn & I headed over to the Kent Cider Company for a delicious Strawberry cider. I’ll definitely be after a bottle to take home next time! Very tasty & certainly packs a punch. I’ve recently lost my love of cider but I think I may have found it again in the strawberry cider.

Kent cider co


With the day almost over we had a little look around the castle grounds before dropping the boys off. It was a lovely day all round although quite pricey for rides & treats. Luckily there was enough going on that the kids didn’t moan too much about going on rides.


Have you ever been to the Rochester Dickens Festival before or is it something you’d be interested in?