Little Tiger Party At Kidzania London

We attended the Little Tiger Party at Kidzania London on Saturday and it was fantastic! Having attended Little Tigers Birthday party last year we were really excited to be invited this year too. The girls love Little Tiger books & they couldn’t wait to find out about new books & meet the authors and illustrators. Surprisingly Izzy remembered last year’s Little Tiger Party, the books & activities we took part in. When I told her we had been invited she was so excited!

Little Tiger Party at Kidzania

 

Little Tiger Party

The Little Tiger Party (#TigerPBParty) was held at Kidzania in London where they recently teamed up to create a Little Tiger Library. The library is within Kidzania, giving children a chance to discovers new authors and role play as a librarian too. We arrived a little after 9.30am and greeted by a lovely breakfast buffet. We soon moved into the Kidzania Theatre where several authors & illustrators were ready to tell us about their books.

Kidzania globe

Blue Monster Wants It All

Blue Monster Wants It All! By Jeanne Willis

First up was Jeanne Willis who Izzy mistook for the queen! Jeanne read her book ‘Blue Monster wants it all’ a fantastic story that leaves children with a positive message. Blue monster isn’t happy with anything and thinks he needs a new everything. Even as a baby he wanted everything new from a new pram to a new cuddly toy. I got so absorbed into the storyline that I accidentally forgot to get a picture of Jeanne Willis reading to us, oops!

Blue monster throws away anything old and demands a new replacement. He even get’s rid of all his old toys, family and even the sun! All in search of something newer, shinier & better only to find you can’t buy new friends and family. When Blue monster realises this he quickly repairs his old broken plane and flies back home to his old family! It’s so easy to get caught up with having to have everything new, especially for children these days. I love that there is a story like to help remind children of what is actually important! Such a lovely way to start the Little Tiger Party.

Octopants

Suzie Senior & Claire Powell talking about their new book - Octopants!

We then learnt the origin of the second book, Octopants written by Suzy Senior & illustrated by Claire Powell. Poor Octopus has no underpants and can’t find any, no matter how hard he tries! Luckily he eventually comes across a solution! This is a fun, colourful book for kids and both girls really enjoyed both the book & the presentation.

Octopants written by Suzy Senior & Illustrated by Claire Powell

We learnt the Octopants song which was pretty funny! We helped to come up with some new pant ideas for the octopus, from chicken pants & dinosaur pants to unicorn pants. There were several amusing suggestions leaving Claire to figure out how to turn the idea into pants.

Look Out! It’s A Dragon!

Look out, it's a dragon! By Jonny Lambert
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Next up, Jonny Lambert author of ‘Only Lonely Panda’ came on to the stage. He told us about Saffy the dragon in his new book ‘Look out! It’s a dragon!’ and how he created her. Jonny uses a process called scratch & tickle where he adds paint to his image and scrapes & dabs it with various items until he is happy with it. When he created Saffy he then tore a piece of card to create her belly & finishing the process. This gives Saffy a lovely texture & depth throughout the book.

Jonny Lambert explaining the 'Scratch & tickle' process.

Jonny also showed us how to make a 3D cardboard dragon, this led to Izzy having a slight hissy fit. Izzy thought the dragon story was written because of her Cardboard box dragon. Of course, this meant she wanted to be a helper on stage! She was quite upset at not being chosen but she was very pleased to catch up later on with Jonny. She found him in the Little Tiger library helping children colour & cut out their own dragon & they sat drawing for a while!

Jonny Lambery & Izzy colouring & drawing together.

Saffy isn’t like the other dragons & wants to find a lovely new home. She comes across one and tries to make friends. Everyone is scared of Saffy though as dragons have quite a reputation though & they tell her to go away. When the other dragons come along and ruin their lovely home, Saffy rescues everyone and takes them to a lovely new home.

Cock-A-Doodle-Poo!

Cock-a-doodle-poo! book - Little Tiger Books

The last book, Cock-A-Doodle-Poo was read out by author Steve Smallman who had all of us giggling! Who knew there was so much poo on a farmyard or just how funny a book about poo can actually be!? Rooster is causing a lot of mess & havoc on the farmyard, especially for farmer Jill, but apparently, poo can even be life-saving!

Cock-a-doodle-poo! being read by author Steve Smallman at the #TigerPBParty

Kidzania London

After the party, we were kindly gifted tickets to explore Kidzania London, a huge indoor roleplay place for kids. There are so many jobs for children to try out, they earn Kidzo’s for each job.

Emergency Ambulance - Kidzania

Children can spend their well-earnt Kidzos on activities such as abseiling or riding around in various emergency vehicles or spend them in the final gift shop before leaving. You can even save your Kizos for your next trip and save up for something special!

Renault Formula E

Eva changing a Renault Formula E tyre- Kidzania

Eva was happy to go off and try out a few jobs starting with changing a Renault Formula E wheel. Unfortunately I’m not too sure what else she learnt in the Renault garage, I did ask a member of staff and explained I was there as a blogger and hoped to write about it before we went in but as Izzy discovered at the same time I couldn’t go in with her, I didn’t get a chance to find anything out.

Surgery

Eva performing surgery - Kidzania

Eva really enjoyed performing surgery too & overall she really enjoyed Kidzania, other than the music being a little too loud for her liking. We will look into seeing if they hold quieter days so she can try out a few more activities. I think if we had known how big Kidzania was we would have organised a friend to pick us up so we could do a full day and try everything!

Water Aid science laboratory - Kidzania

Parents aren’t allowed in the activities & the doors are closed which is great for children’s independence but unfortunately, Izzy was put off immediately. She was eventually persuaded by the open water aid centre where she learnt about using clean water and how to make bubbles which she loved! Izzy is really interested in germs & washing her hands regularly so it’s not surprising she enjoyed this activity.

Lovabella Baby Centre

Izzy caring for Lovabella dolls in the baby centre - Kidzania

Thankfully we lost her again when she spotted the Lovabella baby centre! This was the only activity she was happy to do alone. She really enjoyed herself and was happy to go in alone which was a huge relief!

Lovabella Baby Centre - Kidzania

Izzy also considered surgery but seeing the dummy & apron she had to wear put her off, seeing Eva perform the surgery even more so. By next year I’m sure she will love it though and happuly go into each activity alone. I can see us investing in annual passes as a gift for the girls in the future. I imagine once they are used to the venue I will be able to happily sneak off to the parents garden and leave them to it!

Saffy the dragon signed by Jonny Lambet to Eva & Izzy

Overall we had a fantastic day at the Little Tiger Party and can’t thank Little Tiger & Kidzania enough for having us. To really top the day we came home with a signed copy of each book & one of Jonny’s Saffy artworks he used on stage to explain scratch & tickle, which we absolutely love! I love that the girls both told everyone to sign Izzy/Isobella as Issobella, it became a little joke, Izzy Issobella! An amusing memory for the girls to look back on. Little Tiger parties are the best, we really enjoy these events and hope to get invited to the next one too!

Learning How To Draw Kawaii With The Girls

I’ve been learning how to draw Kawaii with the girls most evenings over the last few weeks. It started with Eva wanting to learn to draw a unicorn. I looked online but struggled to find anything Eva didn’t consider too complicated. Wanting to boost her confidence, I looked around on the Play Store too.

Learning how to draw kawaii with the girls

Learning How to Draw Kawaii – Kawaii App

Having found a cool app – Kawaii Easy Drawing: How to draw step by step, Eva was happy to give drawing a unicorn a go. Eva kept getting stressed at first, so I offered to draw with her.

Eva's Unicorn
Eva’s first attempt at drawing a unicorn

 

 

Seeing that I make mistakes too and showing her accepting that it won’t always turn out perfect really boosted Eva’s confidence in drawing. Now she accepts small mistakes and does her own thing too.

Learning how to draw kawaii
My first 2 attempts at drawing a unicorn

Since then, Izzy, of course, has to join in too although demands help for every step haha! Sometimes she will let me do an awful attempt and fill it in with scribbles whilst we wait for Eva to finish.

Izzy's unicorn and mermaid
A joint effort from Izzy & I!

 

A New Routine

Drawing most evenings has become a new routine lately. It seems to calm the girls down before bed and we usually manage 3-5 drawings each time. The girls want to learn to draw everything on this app then look for a new one. These simple, cute kawaii drawings are really keeping the girls entertained. From Unicorns, Mermaids, Emojis and superheroes, we’ve spent quite a lot of time together at the table drawing.

Eva's Emoji
Eva’s Emoji

Eva’s confidence rising is nice to see as she is very much like me and beats herself up over small mistakes. Showing her that I make mistakes too but we can correct them or use them to our advantage is probably good for both of us. Seeing Eva proudly present her finished drawing at the end of each one makes my day!

Superhero girl
Eva’s superhero!

I’ll be hunting for my websites & apps like this with simple instructions to help the girls (and me!) continue learning to draw. I love that it gives us something to sit and do together and it’s lovely chatting away as we do. Eva is now laughing at big mistakes instead of getting upset and happy to start again.

Burnished Chaos

Recovering From A Low Patch

I’m slowly recovering from a low patch. Having felt great following my personal month of blogging challenge, losing my ESA award was a huge blow. It left us struggling financially, we spent every single day and weekend focused on finding a solution. Trying to writing the right letter and applying for the right benefits with 2 kids around can be hellish.

Recovering From A Low Patch

Benefit Changes & Accepting I Need A Carer

DWP Assessors acknowledged all my health issues and agreed they impacted my health. However, I was basically told I could work if I used a wheelchair. Sod my mental health too, just get on with it basically. Luckily I receive PIP and with the Mr spending so much time at home caring for me, doing things I can’t, reminding me to eat regularly, take my medications on time etc allowed him to claim carers allowance which also entitled him to claim income support for us.

Having a Carer

I’m not going to lie, whilst accepting that I do need a carer was hard, it was also a relief. Passing on the burden of having to fill out the form correctly made things less stressful. After 2 months of barely any money to live on, we received the benefit awards the same day as our eviction notice. Luckily that meant we could notify the council and avoid being evicted.

Getting Back On Track

I still struggled for a while, kicking myself for putting us through 2 months of hell because of my health. After a few weeks spent catching up on bills though, things finally turned around. Being able to treat the girls to what they need plus a few extras have been lovely. I felt so selfish when we had nothing, the whole family suffered because of my assessment.

Slowly picking myself back up I’ve managed to get back on track with finding out what’s going on with me. I missed blood tests after losing my award as I felt it was pointless. So what if I was ill? Everyone else was barely able to eat. Obviously now I see it probably would have helped me to carry on with the tests so I have been back to the Dr and getting back on top of it all.

Instead of pushing myself through frustration I’ve slowed down, picked up my crochet hook more and read, having more me time has helped. Recovering from a low patch can be quite wobbly, I’ve had some low days reflecting on these last few months. I’ve also been trying to make the most of being in a better situation and accepting I need more help has helped me feel better about having more me time, something the Mr is always nagging me to do!

Having A Life Again

Knowing the Mr can pick up a few beers to relax after a day of school runs, shopping, clothes washing, reminding me to person and general tidying is a huge relief. The poor bloke barely has a social life, he spends so much time at home helping us. It’s nice he can sit and relax after a long day with a cold beer.

I’ve had the chance to finally try Contact Lenses with a push from the Mr and eventually decided to go with Daily lenses instead of monthlies without feeling hugely guilty. The benefits have outweighed the costs and as the Mr is now officially my Carer he is using it as an excuse to make me listen & treat myself more!

Contact Lens

Months of apologising to the girls because we couldn’t afford to do this or buy that was hard. Luckily we were able to get out to the Dickens festival & spoilt them slightly. We made the most of being out for the first time in months which felt great. Mum guilt is horrible when you are the reason your kids are going without so it was lovely to finally say YES. Izzy was ecstatic to see The Lamplighter and he sung the Charlie Mops song just for her even though he hadn’t planned to sing it!

Eva spent some birthday money and I treated her to a few extras too. Something I hadn’t been able to do for a while! As she has become a huge Harry Potter fan we picked her up some awesome bits like this box and sign!

Being Robbed By Royal Mail & Fonegiant

The Mr made sure I finally have a working phone (LG G5!) too which was a huge relief after months of phone stress. With Fonegiant and Royal Mail both failing spectacularly with Fonegiant sending out a locked phone, in the wrong colour, followed by Royal mail losing the £180 phone.

Royal Mail can only refund the person who paid the postage which is down to Fonegiant who refuse to claim and instead keep resending me the Royal Mail Claims site page. I certainly wouldn’t recommend buying a phone from Fonegiant as there is no guarantee you will receive a working phone and clearly they are unwilling to help once they have the money safely in their account.

Royal Mail did eventually give me £60 compensation and accepted they have lost the phone. They refused to refund me the £180 for the phone as Fonegiant have to chase it.. Which of course Adam who owns Fonegiant is refusing to do. Having been robbed by them both in the middle of all this just made me feel even worse. I felt suicidal for the first time in years.

That refund could have fed us when we had no money coming in! Without a phone, I couldn’t book the appointments needed or answer calls from DWP which helped my assessment fail. I was immensely grateful when Mandy offered to send me a phone to help me out. She warned me it may not work with a big crack in the screen. The phone worked enough for me to make those necessary calls and I honestly can’t thank Mandy enough!

The Mr eventually bought me a G5 for £40 less than the one from Fonegiant. It arrived working, the correct colour, on the correct network! Such a relief!

Recovering From A Low Patch

Since things fell back in place, the Mr has bought me a new (working!) LG G5, allowing me to feel connected again. I can keep up with everything again, I can moan on twitter and harass Martyn and Hannah on Whatsapp (Sorry guys but you kept me sane) again. I can call and book appointments and keep in touch with my brother again. All things I felt lost without!

Hopefully, now I’ll find my blogging mojo again. I’m determined to set myself a few goals over the coming months. Blogging definitely keeps me sane, whatever I’m sharing. From sharing cool products, covering my mental & physical health, crafts, books, it all makes me feel happier. Jibbering moany rubbish helps me get everything off my chest so my head can attempt thinking logically. Sharing our ups & downs has been a massive help to me & it’s lovely to look back & see how far we’ve come.

Looking back over the last few months, we’ve been through quite a lot but there are so many positives to focus on! I have realised I have some fantastic friends I can genuinely rely on, talk openly with and feel supported by.

Going through this has shown me we can get through so much as a family. The last few months have been so stressful for us all yet we still come out stronger than ever! When you aren’t worrying so much about where the next meal is coming from everything feels amazing. I’ve been in agony at times but still, I feel grateful to finally have everything back in place.

If you are ever having a low patch, reach out, there’s always someone willing to listen. My DM’s are always open! Sometimes things like this hit us hard & small things on top can tip us over the edge but we can recover from a low patch!

Food Prep Using Kiddies Food Kutter & Safety Food Peeler

The girls enjoyed some Food prep using Kiddies Food Kutter & Safety Food Peeler this week. Eva wanted to make fruit kebabs and since we were sent some Kiddies Food Kutters & Safety Food Peelers I figured I’d let the girls try them out. After the girls had been poorly, followed by a heat wave, healthy fruit kebabs sounded like a fantastic idea.

Kiddies Food Kutter

The Kiddies Food Kutter is a safety knife designed specifically for children aged 2 years + including children with special needs. Using an ergonomic design, these knives are suitable for left & right handers. As these were originally designed for pumpkin carving, they are stainless steel, safe, strong & sturdy. The Kiddies Food Kutter teaches fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, independence, and confidence.

Using a sawing action to cut, Izzy managed to slice up a banana with ease. She has previously struggled with knives aimed at her age group and is a little wary of full sized knives. The fact Izzy failed to break it proves Kiddies Food Kutters are definitely strong & sturdy as she is basically a 3-year-old version of the hulk, so that’s saying something! As she had sliced it herself, Izzy finally ate a banana for the first time in almost 2 years too.

Food Prep Using Kiddies Food Kutter & Safety Food Peeler

Eva has slightly weak hand muscles & can sometimes struggle to grip things tightly but she had no issue with the Kiddies Food Kutter. Neither of the girls had any issues and with rounded teeth & no sharp edges, there was no risk of cut fingers. As washing up is my pet hate I love the fact Kiddies Food Kutters are dishwasher safe & BPA free too!

Food Prep

 

Safety Food Peeler

The Australian made & owned Safety Food Peeler has a unique bladeless design to keep fingers safe. Children 3 years and up, including those with special needs, the disabled, adult left-handers, the elderly with arthritis and dementia can peel fruit & vegetables easily with the ergonomically designed handle. The Safety Food Peeler has a special fingerprint marking for placing your pointer finger. This allows you to slide the peeler along slowly peeling long ribbons off. Only light pressure is required to peel long ribbons off fruit or vegetables.

Izzy gave the Safety Food peeler a try but quickly decided she wasn’t keen on how quickly the peeler slid. She decided to stick to slicing with the Kiddies Food Kutter as she enjoyed being able to cut everything up. I’m sure with time she will give it another go though and I will certainly try again very soon.


Safety Food Peeler

Eva much preferred the Safety Food Peeler to our normal peeler which she gets rather nervous about. She found the Safety Food Peeler much easier to control. It took a few attempts peeling her pear to get the hang of the Safety Food Peeler. She kept moving her finger off the fingerprint but once she remembered this she got on much better with it. Feeling much more confident, she has since decided she wants to help peel vegetables for our dinners more often!

Food Prep Using Kiddies Food Kutter & Safety Food Peeler

Food prep is certainly easier using the Kiddies Food Kutter & Safety Food Peeler for kids. It gives parents peace of mind when giving children the responsibility of cutting or preparing their own food. We love encouraging the girls to get involved in growing & preparing their own food and these fab tools help them do it safely. With my anxiety, it can be a bit stressful at times, especially when knives and peelers are involved so having these products in the drawer is a huge relief.

Kiddies Food Kutters & Safety Food Peelers are available separately in 1’s & 3’s or together as a 2 pack or 4 pack through Kiddies Food Kutters Store. They start at just £6.82 each.

Kiddies Food Kutter & Safety Food Peeler

Would you feel a little safer letting your kids help with food prep using Kiddies Food Kutter & Safety Food Peeler too?

 

 

 

Father’s Day Hamper From Prestige Hampers

Father’s day is quickly approaching and Prestige Hampers have a Father’s Day Hamper perfect for the occasion. It can be hard to find a gift for some dads, but Prestige Hampers have many different options. Hampers offer a touch of luxury for the gift recipient and foodies will love the Hamper I received for the Mr!

Father's Day Hamper

Prestige Hampers have a fantastic selection of gifts and Hampers for all occasions, we previously reviewed a Christmas Hamper that was full of delicious luxury food items too.

Father's Day Hamper - the Delicatessen

Father’s Day Hamper

We received The Delicatessen Hamper (£44.99) to review which arrived in a large Delicatessen wooden hat box. Full of port, fine cheeses, bread and chutney, any foodie dad would love to receive this lovely gift.

The Delicatessen Contains:

A bottle of Vista Alegre Fine Ruby Port 37.5cl
A Jar of Spiced Plum Chutney 198g
Northumbria Cheese Kielder 115g
West Country Farmhouse Cheddar Truckle Floppy Top 200g
Westminster London Truckle English Cheddar Cheese 200g
Peter’s Yard Sourdough Crispbread Charcoal & Rye 90g
Large Delicatessen Hat Box

The Delicatessen

This lovely hamper is perfect and the cheeses are absolutely divine! Any cheese lover will really appreciate this lovely Father’s Day Hamper. This Father’s Day why not treat dad to a lovely glass of port to enjoy with this delicious collection of cheeses, chutney and crispbread. We tried the West Country Farmhouse Cheddar Truckle Floppy Top to begin with and it was so creamy and full of flavour, perfect with the Sourdough Crispbread. Warning – The Sourdough Crispbread is beyond moreish! You could team this gift up with a lovely cheese board too.

You can order gifts from Prestige Hampers across Europe & Internationally although courier rates vary. Next day delivery is available for most products & delivery costs just £5.80 per item. Tracking information is available for all orders. I love that you can select which day you would like your gift to arrive, making ordering in advance even easier!

Would your dad or partner enjoy receiving a Father’s Day Hamper like this fantastic Delicatessen Hamper?

Having A Carer At 27 Years Old

Having a carer isn’t something I expected to happen at 27 years old. I suffer from Chronic back pain, Sciatica, Depression, Anxiety & apparently (yet to be diagnosed) PTSD.  Due to my ESA being refused after 2 years receiving it, we have had to look at other options. I simply can’t cope with a tribunal, talking to strangers, going through my weaknesses yet again. It is honestly soul destroying, my mental health isn’t at a point where I can fight a battle like that.

For the first time in almost 8/9 years I felt suicidal again. I genuinely felt my family would be better off without me. I  thought about facing a tribunal but because I know it will be a struggle to attend, explain myself & I didn’t want to put the whole family through several more months of stress. Instead we have had to look at other ways to get by & as part of that, the Mr is now officially my Carer.

Having a Carer
Photo by lalesh aldarwish from Pexels

My Carer

Anyone that knows me well will know the Mr has been caring for me fully for the past 3-4 years. We never made that official on paper but it has been the case since Izzy was around a year old. I began to struggle to lift her, the pain would cause me to lose my vision. Things got worse & I know me fighting it & trying to appear healthy did more damage. It took a long time for me to accept I couldn’t manage a lot of daily tasks.

The Mr has done so much for us over the years, kept me going during my lowest points, making sure I take my medications, book & attend appointments, reminding me I have to eat at least twice a day, helping me up, chores I can’t manage, shopping, school runs & so much more that it makes sense for him to finally be my Carer on paper. I often joke about being useless without the Mr & it’s completely true, we’ve had our ups & downs but as my health has declined he has gone above & beyond to help me any way he can.

A Shock & Relief

Receiving the award letter was both a relief and a slight ‘oh’ moment though. As I said to the Mr, ‘This means you’re officially the adultier adult!’. I panicked slightly then, realising I had fully admitted I need help & a carer for at least 35 hours a week. It’s one thing having that help, it’s another seeing it written down on paper.

Once I calmed down it made me realise a few things. Whilst the DWP left me feeling useless & worthless, I do genuinely need the help and whilst ESA may be a nightmare to have awarded due to the shocking state of the system, we are entitled to something! It’s been a rough 2 months with barely any money coming in so it was a relief for the Mr to be awarded & paid carers allowance. I realised I am not admitting defeat like I first thought. Instead, I’m accepting help to enable me to get through day to day life smoothly.

Daily Life

Since my ESA was refused daily life has been a bit upside down. I’ve really struggled to do anything I enjoy, including blogging; feeling guilty for letting the family down. Now we have another solution I don’t feel so bad. I know we are on a low income because of me, my mental & physical health but knowing the Mr’s help is now at least recognised I feel a little less like it’s all on my shoulders. Knowing we have some kind of income other than my PIP is a huge relief. Even though I make it difficult because neither of us can work, I feel a little better. It’s tough being ill, it’s even tougher asking for & accepting help but I think in a way I will find it a little easier to ask for help now & not just from the Mr.

 

 

DIY Daddy

 

 

Easy Mornings With Left & Right Shoe Stickers From Easy2name – 3 Sets To Giveaway!

Want easy mornings with left and right shoe stickers? Easy2name have these fantastic stickers perfect for pre-schoolers & young children & we have a set each for 3 lucky winners! We received several sets of the lovely animal design left & right shoe stickers for our review. You can find a whole range of fab stickers & labels at Easy2name & I recently reviewed their Gorgeous Personalised Woven Labels with a giveaway (Ending: 2/4/18) too!

 

Easy Mornings - Left & Right Shoe Stickers - 3 sets to give away!

Left & Right Shoe Stickers

The left & right shoe stickers are designed as a simple but effective solution to teaching children to put their shoes on the correct feet. This makes putting shoes on more fun and getting out the house a bit easier! Both girls still need help with their shoes, Izzy is learning and Eva struggles to stay focused. Needless to say, it can cause stressful mornings so spotting the left & Right shoe stickers seemed a great idea.

Left & Right shoe stickers come with 4 fun designs included in each pack of 8, costing just £4 each. They are really easy to use, peel off and place each half of the sticker in each shoe to complete the picture. These labels are white and come in either black or pink print, you can select when adding to your basket.

Left & Right Shoe Stickers from Easy2name

Izzy barely let me photograph the stickers before claiming a pink pig set of left & rights stickers for her trainers. Straight away I noticed the quality of the stickers, Easy2name have amazing quality products, I’m still in love with my woven labels too! The left & right stickers looked really cute and Izzy loved her pig! The very next day she got ready to go shopping with the Mr & proudly showed him which shoe to put on each foot. It really made me smile, it makes putting on shoes much more fun gives kids that little bit of independence too.

Easy Mornings

I’m looking forward to easy mornings and Eva coming out of school with her shoes on the right feet! Eva picked a Dog for her trainers and a Zebra for her wellies which she struggles the most with. She wore her trainers to school for a few days (she keeps destroying school shoes, eek!) and came home with them on the right foot every time. I was even more impressed on P.E days as she generally has to swap her shoes over before walking home.

Making mornings easier with left & right shoe stickers

One morning we woke up & it was raining hard so Eva needed her wellies for school. Eva usually can’t figure out which welly to put on which foot, as they are so similar. Reminding Eva the images go on the outside, isn’t helpful as the pictures wrap around. With the Easy2name left & right shoe stickers though we had an easy morning with no stressing over her wellies being on the wrong feet. Relief all round!

Shoe stickers for kids

 

I would definitely recommend these cute left & right stickers to parents of young children. They really do give you an easy morning and a happy child, these stickers are just fab!

Giveaway

If you love the idea of these left & right stickers enter the rafflecopter giveaway below for your chance to win 1 of 3 sets. Each set of  8 left & right pairs of stickers come in 4 cute animal designs & winners can choose their preferred colour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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

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!

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.

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?

Burnished Chaos

 

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

Ember,

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 & have a 20% code for our readers! Use code: PURPLE20 at checkout which will entitle you to 20% off the entirety of your subscription!

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.

Independence

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.

 

 

Subscription

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 – £9.95
6 Monthly – £54.95
12 Monthly – £99.95

What do you think of Our Little Globe?