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!

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?

 

 

 

Craft, Mental Illness And Happy Post

.Relentlessly Purple covers, Craft, Mental Illness, product reviews and more. Blogging gives me a creative outlet, an excuse to craft and show it off across different platforms. I love hearing how others do the same and seeing their makes. I especially love the idea of Happy Post which I’ll let Katie tell you more about.

Craft, Mental Illness And Happy Post

Craft, Mental Illness and Happy Post

I have always been very creative, right back to my childhood days and before mental illness really took hold of my life but even then I found it relaxing and something I could really get in to. I have taken craft with me throughout my life and now have an Etsy shop, where I sell my makes Katies Cabin Handmade. Crafting is like a part of me, if I didn’t have it, I am not sure who I would be, it’s almost built into who I am.

Craft and Mental Illness

I have had a very long battle with mental health issues starting with self-harm when I was 14. In my late teens I started struggling with anorexia and later in life was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Throughout these times creative activities have been extremely helpful. They really help to focus the mind on one activity rather than the million thoughts going round my head. If I am depressed and struggling to do anything, sometimes, if I can just get myself to do something small but creative, it helps me to feel like I am being productive. Crafting can boost a mood, if only slightly.
Craft is a very mindful activity and always helps me to just zone out to everything else going on around me. Within craft groups and communities that I am part of it seems that a large proportion of crafters actually struggle with mental health issues. They use craft for this very reason whether they then go on to sell their makes or not, so there must be definitely something in the fact that crafting does help mental health issues!
People may think “I’m not creative” or “I couldn’t make that” but you really don’t need to be a crafting genius to benefit from crafting. It can be an adult colouring book or doodling – these are also very mindful creative activities. If you wished you could teach yourself a craft such as crochet or knitting – something that interests you! There are so many tutorials these days on the internet and even books that learning a craft in today’s day and age is easier than ever and it’s so rewarding when you finally manage to make something which in itself is a real mood booster!

Happy Post

Happy Post

I decided to put my crafting to good use and offer ‘Happy Post’ to those struggling with mental illness.

I make and sell a lot of prints and so I decided to make “quote cards” with an inspirational theme. These are to send to those currently having a hard time with mental health issues. The smallest of things can sometimes help when you are in a dark place. I wanted to offer a little bit of hope with the aim to make people feel less alone.
I also blog about mental illness and am in the process of writing a book of my own experiences to try and help raise awareness.
You can see my blog, about me and nominate someone for a happy post at www.mentalhealthjourney.co.uk
If you’ve never tried a craft then give it a go! You never know you may just find something that you love!

Thank you for sharing your Craft, Mental Illness and Happy Post with us Katie! I love the idea of Happy post. I know this will put a smile on many faces that need a little something to brighten their day!

Mental Health Awareness Week 2018

It’s Mental Health Awareness week 2018, organised by the Mental Health Foundation. This runs from 14th – 20th May and focuses on stress, a key factor in mental health problems. Research shows 2/3 of us experience mental health problems with stress being a key factor according to the Mental Health Foundation.

Mental Health Awareness

Mental health awareness week 2018

Stress

Stress can cause or worsen anxiety, depression, self-harm and suicidal thoughts. Anyone of us can experience mental health problems throughout our lifetime and we need to openly talk about this to help beat the stigma and raise awareness. Stress in the workplace is the Mental Health Foundations main focus this mental health awareness week.

I have written several times on the blog about mental health awareness & my own mental health. From struggling with chronic pain at 25, my anxiety, having a carer at 27 and more. I know I’m not alone as there are some wonderful bloggers & readers out there who have opened up too.

Mental Health Affects Everyone

Young children and teens are also at risk of stress with the pressure to maintain high standards in school, friendships, overloaded with school work, homework and endless tests. Adults have so many different stressors from overworking, lack of wor/ability to work, financial strains, family issues and more, it can be difficult to cope in this hectic world. The more we talk about this, the easier it will be for those suffering mental health problems to speak up. I used to bottle everything up myself and it made things so much worse!

 

Beat The Stigma – Talk!

Talking about my mental health through the blog at times has been extremely cathartic for me. I know from comments left that opening up has helped others to do the same, it’s a chain reaction. Whilst most people may not feel comfortable to write publicly, talking to close friends and family can do the same. The more we talk about mental health and make changes to lessen day to day life stresses, the easier is to admit how we feel and that we need help. The more we talk about mental health and make it everyday conversation the quicker we can beat the stigma and support one another better.

Get Help

If you need to talk to someone my DM’s/Email is always open if any of my readers ever want to chat. Sometimes we need a little more than that and the following charities are here to help, should you need it.

Mind

https://www.mind.org.uk/

Email – info@mind.org.uk

Infoline – 0300 123 3393

Text: 86463.

Lines are open 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday (except for bank holidays).

Samaritans

www.samaritans.org.uk

Phone: 116 123 (free 24-hour helpline)

Sane

www.sane.org.uk/support

SANEline: 0300 304 7000 (daily, 4.30-10.30pm)

Textcare: comfort and care via text message, sent when the person needs it most: http://www.sane.org.uk/textcare

Peer support forum: www.sane.org.uk/supportforum

 

YoungMinds

Information on child and adolescent mental health. Services for parents and professionals.

www.youngminds.org.uk

Phone: Parents’ helpline 0808 802 5544 (Mon-Fri, 9.30am-4pm)

Did you know it was mental health awareness week?

 

 

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

#OreoCookieQuest

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

Crocheting

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!

Oreo-cano

Reading

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

Crochet Wishlist On Amazon 2018

My Crochet wishlist on Amazon* is growing for 2018 even though I managed to grab a few goodies already this year! I managed to tick off a few tools like stitch markers, a range of hooks and stitch counters. My wool/yarn collection is growing even more too after the Mr bought me some Aran yarn & a yarn cake.

Crochet Wishlist On Amazon 2018

I mentioned last year in My Ever-Growing Yarn Wishlist several Carron Cakes I had my eye on and I have been keeping an eye out for sales with no luck. The Mr found a So Crafty Yarn cake in Aldi this week though and grabbed the last one knowing I love the different yarn cakes available.

As you can see the Mr also got me a few other goodies, helping me create an even more comfortable, calming, crochet corner!

Crochet Wishlist

This little haul made me really smile and now I look forward to resting when I need to instead of feeling guilty. Of course, this has also spurred me on to hunt for even more gorgeous crochet goodies to busy myself with when I need to rest. From crochet tools, yarns and more my wishlist right now is quite extensive!

Crochet Tools

Any crocheter will need a lovely pair of scissors to snip yarn at times, why not a lovely vintage pair?

Yarn/Wool

Yes, I know, I haven’t even bought the ones on my last wish list… yet! But here are a few more I am currently in love with anyway including this huge yarn cake that would be perfect for using on a project for Eva.

I also really love this yarn, it would be great for a scarf tying in my favourite colours.

 

This stunning collection has some fab shades including purple haze which is stunning, as is ocean but this one, in particular, keeps catching my eye. It would make a lovely cardigan!

This gorgeous sock yarn is also on my crochet wish list this year as I am determined to crochet a pair of socks!

Mugs & Coasters

Every crocheter needs a mug & coaster, even with my obsessive purple mug collecting I have yet to buy a related mug or coaster! Shocking! Amazon has some quite amusing mugs like this one below. It made me giggle as last year crocheting helped me travel without feeling overly anxious.

This mug is so true, crocheting helps me unwind and really is my happy place! Of course, if you get the mug you have too, especially being purple

That also makes this next mug on my crochet wishlist pretty true too. I have to admit it has helped me keep calm in situations where I normally struggle haha!

Clothing

Anyone that follows me on tweeter will regularly see me complain I am cold so of course a jumper or hoody had to be included. I am lacking after a clear out after all…


I love both of these hoodies, I just wish they came in purple!

Stationary

As someone with a slight stationary obsession, of course, I had to find a notebook to note down any stitches or perhaps if I ever learn to write a pattern. I love this one and is top of my stationary crochet wishlist.

 

Burnished Chaos

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Our Favourite Printable Resource Sites

Our favourite printable resource sites have kept us busy this half term with lots of fun, printed activities. Sharing them seemed a good idea and a way to keep track ourselves. Keeping the girls busy with printed sheets is something I have really enjoyed being able to do again. We have found some fantastic website for all kind of printables from masks, colouring, counting, cutting & making.

Our Favourite Printable Resource Sites

 

Educational Resources

We love educational resource sites as they have some fantastic activities. We currently have free accounts for Ichild & Twinkl resources but have a full account with Mrs Mactivity. The girls really enjoy finding fun new educational resources, especially seasonal ones during school holidays. 

  1. Mrs Mactivity – A newly launched Printable Resource site, Mrs Mactivity has a collection of fun printables. From handwriting, math, mindful colouring, dot-to-dot and seasonal hunt checklists, there are new resources added regularly.
  2. Ichild –  A huge range of resources for all age groups. We previously shared their Handwriting sheets Izzy had been using in our Printable Activities -Fun For Kids post. We love that there is everything on this site including science
  3. Twinkl – Perfect for school work, Twinkl has some great resources that have helped Eva enjoy her work even more. They have some great writing sheets and activities. We recently Printed Mary Anning Page borders for work Eva had been asked to re-write for display.

Colouring Fun

As well as handwriting and math we love to colour and I’ve been printing mindful colouring sheets for the girls. They love a range of characters and we have found several great, free printable sites.

  1. Crayola – Crayola has quite a few colouring pages & activities which I hadn’t realised until recently. They have a great selection of well-loved characters to be printed out and coloured.
  2. Nick Jr – They have some fantastic colouring pages with all the girl’s favourite characters they love printing out Paw Patrol and Shimmer & Shine sheets.
  3. The Purple Pumpkin Blog– I have to admit The Purple Pumpkin Blog has some AMAZING printables which the girls love! Admittedly the purple name did draw me in but the printables are fab and we always have a browse when we need something new.

What sites are your favourite printable resource sites?  Do you use any of these sites too?

Rustic Purple Flower Pen From Rustic By Marney

I received a Rustic Purple Flower Pen from Rustic By Marney for me to review. You may have read Melissa Marney’s guest post I shared yesterday – How Creativity helps me manage my anxiety and depression. Many of us craft as a way to manage our mental health like Melissa does. Crafting is extremely therapeutic and benefits ourselves and often others too with our gorgeous creations.

Rustic Purple Flower Pen From Rustic By Marney

Rustic By Marney

Melissa creates beautiful rustic wedding stationary and gifts for her, hand making each beautiful rustic piece. I enjoy sharing products I love from small businesses where I can, especially when they make stunning products like this. As mentioned in Melissa’s guest post yesterday, she found it difficult to find exactly what she wanted for her own wedding when it came to stationary. She had always put herself down when it came to crafting but Rustic by Marney was born after realising she had a talent.

Rustic by Marney

Rustic Purple Flower Pen

The beautiful rustic purple flower pen I received is gorgeously hand crafted. I love how the pen is gorgeously wrapped and finished with a pretty flower on top. It looks so pretty, both my girls have tried to ‘borrow’ it several times already! I love the shade of purple used giving it that rustic feel.

Rustic By Marney

Rustic Flower Pens come in a range of colours for £6.99. The rustic pens makes a lovely simple gift for her, a treat to brighten up your desk or as wedding stationary. Don’t forget to check out Rustic By Marney over on Facebook & Twitter to get in touch or see her other products. Feel free to send her a message if you have a rustic idea to run by her too, she may just have the perfect idea.

What do you think of these Rustic Flower Pens? Would you like one as a gift or for your wedding stationary? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

Mudpie Fridays

Visiting Santa At The Rainforest Café

Visiting Santa at the Rainforest Café was such a lovely, magical experience. Rainforest café invited us to visit Santa’s Grotto with a meal for the girls afterwards in exchange for an honest review.

Visiting Santa at Rainforest Cafe

The rainforest café is close to the Piccadilly circus Tube station which made planning the journey fairly straight forward. We were really excited as my brother was joining us keeping to our Christmas tradition we started a few years ago too.

The Rainforest café grotto experience includes:

  • A personalised invite from Santa Claus
  • A warm welcome from his elves on arrival
  • Enjoy a personalised meeting with Santa Claus in his grotto
  • A Christmas Gift
  • Children’s 2 course meal & soft drink

Traveling To The Rainforest Café

We couldn’t wait to finally visit Rainforest Café after having our original booking moved. Visiting Santa had the girls so excited and we couldn’t wait to get there. I will admit I had a stressful start though, I lost my bank card a week or so ago. Because of this there was an issue transferring money to the Mr’s account. Luckily my brother saved the day and we managed to get on our way but it made me extremely anxious. Going out with very little money is hell! Several lifts were broken at the underground stations which made my travel anxiety worse but somehow we managed the journey with the help of some lovely kind strangers. The girls enjoyed watching performers and passing the Piccadilly Emporium on the way to the Rainforest café.

Piccadilly circus performers

Both performers at Piccadilly Circus

With my chronic pain and my brothers lupus and bad legs we were a little bit of a mess by the time we arrived but the staff were so welcoming which really helped put us at ease.

Talking tree at rainforest cafe

If you have mobility issues the amount of steps at rainforest café will be a challenge. I do suggest talking to the staff before booking as they do have an accessible entrance. I had thought we would be ok but my brother and I struggled slightly. After all the stairs at tube stations it was quite exhausting. Totally my fault and totally worth it even if Tramadol will be keeping me going for the rest of the week haha!

The rainforest cafe

Arriving At The Rainforest Café

We went downstairs to the Mushroom bar which was full of fantastic rainforest effects and animatronics which were absolutely fantastic.

Gorilla in a christmas jumper

We were greeted by the elves at the booking desk who greeted the girls by name once they had our time slot. The girls absolutely loved this, the elves were brilliant and stayed in character the whole time which really added to the experience. We were asked to wait at the bar which has some awesome animal stools to sit on.

Arriving at Santa's Grotto

Visiting Santa At The Rainforest Café

An elf came and took us down another set of stairs after a short wait and asked the girls to find the Christmas trees. When they found the trees she told the girls they had just put the reindeer to bed so they had to be very quiet and tip toe into the grotto. They knocked on the Grotto door and entered a beautifully decorated grotto. Some grottos feel very claustrophobic but Rainforest Café have a large but cosy grotto which was great. Visiting Santa at the Rainforest Café is a fantastic experience.

Talking to Santa

Talking To Santa

Santa chatted away with the girls using the information from our booking sheet I filled out via email. Eva was delighted when Santa mentioned her teacher. He also mentioned a present she wanted and several other personal details. Izzy spent most of the time chatting away and showing Santa she can do the splits and yoga. She asked him lots of questions and really enjoyed herself.

Checking out the Christmas tree

Izzy really loved the Christmas tree and decorations. Santa barely got a word in edgeways with my two chatterboxes, he was fantastic with them though. As you can see they really enjoyed themselves visiting Santa in his cosy grotto.

Posing with Santa

Sticking To Family Traditions

We took a few photo’s of our own and bought a photo of the 4 of us with Santa. This is part of to our Christmas tradition so I was pleased when we were offered a picture of us all. The girls then received a rainforest café tote bag with a gorgeous soft fluffy penguin each. They also received a gorgeous Christmas stories book, certificate and sticker. They absolutely loved their presents and were so happy to be visiting Santa at rainforest café.

The girls, my brother and I with Santa at Rainforest Café

After our grotto visit we were taken to buy our photo which was £10. We were then told to head upstairs to the restaurant where we were shown to a table. The girls received a 2 course meal and drink as part of the Grotto package. Due to my earlier transfer issue I was unable to order anything myself but the girls meals looked lovely.

Kids meals at Rainforest Café

Eating At The Rainforest Café

Eva chose Burger and chips and Izzy had fish cakes and chips. Eva chatted a little too much (every meal!) so her burger went cold but she enjoyed the half she did eat. Izzy demolished her veg and much to my surprise she ate a few chips, they must have been amazing as she is extremely fussy with chips!

Chocolate ice cream and toffeee sauce sundae

They both had a lovely dessert after their meal. Eva had the chocolate ice cream with toffee sauce and Izzy had a lovely bowl of fresh fruit. They both left happy with full tummy’s ready to head home.

Fruit bowl at Rainforest Café

The waitress was fantastic and we didn’t have to wait too long between dishes which was great. The decorations and effects kept the girls amused whilst we waited. Izzy wanted to bring them home.. not sure an elephant that size would fit in the lift though! 

Animaltronics - Moving elephant

An Unexpected Accident

As we were leaving we of course had yet another problem on our part. Eva spilt her juice over her gifts and herself and began panicking. After our awful start I was close to tears myself. I doubted they could help but I somehow braved asking a member of staff if there was any way they could be replaced. Obviously I would have fully understood if they said no. I just couldn’t cope with the thought of a journey home with Eva distraught at rush hour. After such a magical experience I would have felt awful leaving without at least asking. Amazingly the staff managed to find one last penguin and Christmas stories book much to everyone’s relief.

Finally home with their presents

Fantastic Staff

I am eternally grateful to the staff who replaced the items for Eva. I took care of them until we got home to prevent anymore accidents. We managed to dry out the certificate with very little damage once we got home to Eva’s delight. Both girls ended their day with smiles on their faces cuddling their penguins.  They excitedly told the Mr all about the café, animals, elves and Santa when they got home.

Parrot at Rainforest Café

After all our stress it as fantastic to make it to the Rainforest Café to experience their fantastic grotto package. The food and drink are typical London prices. We will definitely go back again with the Mr as the girls really enjoyed the whole experience. I can’t fault Rainforest Café at all, the experience was fantastic. Staff were outstanding and even in our stressed states Alex and I enjoyed ourselves too.

We tucked the girls into bed with their penguins in their arms and huge smiles on their faces. They told us they had the best day ever as we left the room which literally says it all! Visiting Santa at Rainforest Café is a magical experience I would definitely recommend trying once.

Have you visited the Rainforest café before or booked the grotto experience? Would you book this experience?

Tammymum