20 October 2016

Our October Holiday Trip to Blackpool

This year a lot of people seem to be doing more staycation trips at home in the UK rather than trekking abroad which is lovely to see. I’d heard a lot of people raving about Blackpool this year and have fond memories of going with my Grandad when I was really little so thought it would be a good idea to book up a trip for the family. In Fife the kids get two weeks off school for the October holidays and I saw this as the perfect opportunity to head to Blackpool since the first week of the holidays only some Scottish schools seem to be off and not the English schools so in turn would hopefully be quieter for Logan at the amusements and the pleasure beach etc.

Although it was a bit chilly it worked really well with the hotel we stayed at (the Big Blue Hotel) not being overly busy as with the amusements, pleasure beach theme park and the massive indoor swimming pool complex all being relatively quiet compared to what I would expect at peak times. I honestly didn’t realise how much there was to do and see in Blackpool and only realised after a chat with one of my cousins who goes regularly with her family. We didn’t manage to see everything on our 3 day stay which means another trip will be in order for next year, yippee!

The Big Blue Hotel, which we stayed at, was right on the pleasure beach and I couldn’t fault it. I picked the deluxe family room for us which was really big and reminded me a bit of the Legoland rooms in Windsor but even bigger. There was a big double bed, sofa, TV and a large window at one end with the bathroom in the middle (which had a bath for the kids) and bunk beds plus a TV and PS3 at the other end. Remember to take PS3 games with you to play as we forgot and you’d have to pay to loan some from reception. It’s not expensive though, I think it was £5 or something. All the deluxe family rooms in the hotel face onto the pleasure beach theme park so outside of the big window we could see all of the awesome rollercoasters with people on them when we arrived. It was pretty cool and kept the kids entertained for quite a while.

The pleasure beach itself was great. We managed to get around all the rides that Logan could go on (there’s height restrictions for safety reasons so he couldn’t get on the biggest ones as he’s not 132cm yet) in one day but went back a second day to try some of them out again. Due to it only being the Scottish school holidays the park was quiet ish however the pleasure beach is very disability friendly and Logan got given a special EvE (entry via exit) wrist band so he could get on the rides without the stress of having the queue. I just had to take some paperwork with me to prove his diagnoses of autism and he was all sorted.

There’s plenty of amusement arcades to get around in Blackpool but the closest one to our hotel was great for Logan. It was big and had all the penny machines, grabbers and games you could ever want and the other half and I must have spent a fortune! On some of the games you could win tickets which could be traded in for prizes. As most parents know these prizes are utter tat but if it keeps the kids happy who are we to complain. As well as hitting the amusements I’d also recommend taking a trip to the massive Sandcastle Water Park which is opposite the pleasure beach. It’s a huge indoor swimming complex full of flumes, wave pools, river rapids and small shallow walking pools for the small kiddies. It’s expensive to get in but once there you don’t need to leave for hours. We rocked up at 10.30am when it opened and stayed until at least 3pm. You could walk around in your swimming costume and have lunch it was so toasty and warm. All swimming pools for kids should be like that.

During the month of October Blackpool have the illuminations where you can walk along the seafront and see all the lovely lights hanging in the streets. There’s also some pop up animation theatres which were quite nice with little performances every 10 minutes or so. These didn’t have people on them they were just mechanical. One thing we never managed to do though was visit the Blackpool Tower. Hopefully next time we’ll do this as it’s quite big with a circus, soft play, ballroom, dungeon and panoramic views from the top of the tower. Until next time Blackpool!


19 October 2016

Review: Bathing Bunnies Bath Robe

Bath time is always a delight in our house and even more so recently since the other half’s been doing it a lot more which means Mummy gets a little break, hehe. With the colder weather coming in I always worry about little Harlow getting a chill when she comes out of the bath. There’s nothing of her and she always looks delicate and vulnerable the wee scone. I like to have her wrapped up and cosy as soon as she’s out and that’s where Bathing Bunnies come in handy. I was delighted when Bathing Bunnies got in touch to see if Harlow would like to review one of their lovely products. I chose their gorgeous Pretty Princess Toddler Bath Robe for her as being a diva she definitely needs her own crown.

Here’s a little bit about Bathing Bunnies in case you were curious as to how it all started: “Bathing Bunnies was set up by Reigate entrepreneur, Angela Taylor, in response to a very real problem – what to buy friends and family to celebrate the arrival of their beautiful baby boys and girls? Angela explains: “When a friend invited me to her Baby Shower, I wanted to buy her a really special gift – something original but also practical; something that would last but that wouldn’t cost a fortune.  I spent a lot of time scouring the Internet but, search as I might, I just couldn’t find the perfect gift.  So I started to plan and design my own range of baby gifts instead!” Having worked for over 15 years with European and US multinational companies, sourcing and developing high quality towelling products, Angela decided to design a brand new range of luxurious towelling products just for babies – and so Bathing Bunnies was born!”

The pretty princess toddler bath robe is a beautiful shade of bright pink fit for any little girl, or boy who wants to be a princess too, and attached to the hood is a fabulous jewelled tiara which basically makes your child look even cuter if that’s possible. Normally Harlow turns into a crocodile doing its best death roll when asked to put on any sort of jacket/ item of clothing but as soon as she spotted the bath robe and I asked if she wanted to come out of the bath to wear it she was practically climbing the sides of the tub. The utter delight on her face when she slipped the robe on and I tied it at the front for her was priceless. She even went to show her Daddy and big brother she was that super thrilled.

These really are cute toddler robes. Harlow was lucky enough to have her bath robe personalised with her name on the back and your little one can have that too. The toddler bath robes retail for £27.49 and for an extra £8.00 you can have a maximum of 9 characters stitched on to the back of the robe. If it’s a gift for a special small person then the robe can be gift boxed for £3.50 and a gift card added for £0.50 with 250 characters available for your message. The robe is 100% super absorbent and made from soft cotton terry towelling. It’s machine washable and retains it’s softness even after washing. The dimensions of the robe are as follows; length: 53 cm, chest size: 68 cm, sleeve length: 32 cm, hood length: 25 cm. It’s recommended for ages 1 to 3 years and there’s plenty of different styles to choose from such as Roary Lion, Perfect Pirate and the Magician to Hooty Owl and Elmo Elephant.

The sizing for Harlow seems to fit quite well with lots of room left for growing as you can see from the photos. The absorbent terry towelling material means the cute bath robe can be worn as soon as your toddler steps out of the bath as it dries them really quickly and keeps them cosy and snug. The ties on either side of the bath robe are stitched on which is great because as an adult you know how annoying it is when your housecoat tie comes through the loops and falls off, no chance of this happening with the toddler bath robe from Bathing Bunnies and it helps the robe stay tied in place.

Overall the pretty princess toddler bath robe from Bathing Bunnies is lovely and it really would make the perfect gift for the little ones in your life. The quality is great although I think the price is a little bit on the expensive side then again you pay for what you get these days. If you buy cheap then you buy twice I always think so better to invest in quality first time around. I’d definitely recommend to family and friends and if the other products from Bathing Bunnies are as good as the bath robe I’d suggest you have a nosey as they have some gorgeous baby towels and gift sets perfect for newborns.


15 October 2016

Miriam the Film

So my other half is in a film. Don't worry, it's not some kind of porno (thankfully) but he is in an actual real life film! It's called Miriam and is a short film (20 minutes long) which will be hitting the film festival pretty soon. We went along to see a screening of it last month with all the cast, some friends, family and a few other guests. It was quite surreal to see the hubster on the big screen but it felt great knowing he'd done something he really enjoyed.

Miriam is an independent film made in Scotland and is a about a woman who, after a family tragedy, returns to work in the justice system to seek revenge. She takes revenge on those she feels get off lightly with their sentences and there's also one person in particular she's desperate to catch up with. This person ruined her life and she'll be damned if she's going to let them slip through her fingers.

I really thought the film was fab and I'm not just saying that because the other half's in it. The whole mood of the film is quite dark and the film score is amazing, it just brings everything together piece by piece. Did I happen to mention my other half is a very bad man and gets blown up in a car! It's brilliant. Check out some photos from the preview and be sure to take a nosy at Miriam on Facebook and Twitter.


28 September 2016

Review: Bambella Designs

Babies are cute but they also tend to be messy little things. I often wonder how someone so small can make such a big mess but for reasons unknown they’re very capable. Sometimes I think they do it on purpose just to get extra attention as lets be honest, any moment of your time is better than no time at all in you child’s eyes. Fear not though! The lovely Bambella Designs is on hand to give you some help in the ‘less mess’ department as well as providing style and comfort for your little one.

Here’s a little bit about Bambella Designs: “Founder of Bambella Designs, Jasmine Vanstone, knows all too well the importance of a cuddle. Having spent five years as a social worker, caring for traumatized children in child protection, she continues to make a difference in the lives of the little. A staunch supporter of innovation and ready to push boundaries, Jasmine spent years researching and liaising with her global network of contacts to develop a range of contemporary, handmade pram liners, swag covers, change table mats and trolley lines that celebrate craftsmanship, form and functionality.  Bambella Designs is now recognized as Australia’s most fashionable accessory labels for prams and strollers.”

Bambella Designs offer a lovely range of liners, protectors and harness covers for high chairs, buggies, moses baskets, car seats etc and Harlow was lucky enough to be sent a few items to try out. We received a fabulous car seat protector and matching harness covers in the Arrows Grey Fawn design. I’d often thought about a car seat cover before, as Harlow always makes a mess when eating in the car, but just never got round to purchasing one. The car seat cover is great and so easy to use with our car seat. You basically pop the buckle part of the car seat through the allotted hole in the protector and you’re done. The protector also has 2 velcro strips on either side at the back just to make sure the protector doesn’t fall down on itself. The protector covers a little bit of the back of the car seat and most of the bottom where your child sits. This is great because I often find food slips down into the car seat where the buckle is and I just can’t get it out no matter how much I shake the seat around. With the protector is saves food and drinks getting anywhere near the car seat and saves for a big clean in the long run. It’s so much easier cleaning the protector than having to hall the cover off the car seat and clean that ready for the next car journey. I don’t know about you but I really have no time for that.

You’ll be pleased to know that the car seat protector doubles as a pee pad for when potty training, how awesome is that. It’s made with three layers of highly absorbent, machine washable fabric which can be used in car seats, prams or anywhere on the go really. Bus and train seats come to mind as well, you can thank me later. Of course the car seat cover is machine washable and it looks like it’ll be quick to dry. I haven’t had to wash Harlow’s one yet but when she has dropped stuff on it a quick baby wipe has done the trick.

As well as protecting against food, drinks and pee stains and spills the protector is also very comfy, well from the looks of Harlow’s face it seems to be, and provides extra comfort on our car journeys. This is where the harness covers come in handy too. They protect against sticky little hands but when Harlow falls asleep it means her face isn’t pressing against the bare harnesses. Having a little bit of cushioning definitely helps and we’ve got a long car journey coming up soon so these will be perfect. Harness covers of course don’t have to be exclusively used for a car seat. They can be used with buggy straps too.

Last but not least Harlow was sent a trolley liner to try out. I received this in the Arrows Grey Fawn design as well but there’s plenty of other designs to choose from on their website. To be honest I never knew trolley liners existed and instead had been using my own blanket to keep Harlow comfy and cosy when I do the food shopping. The trolley seat where kids sit never looks that inviting and it’s freezing going round the supermarkets so having a lovely trolley liner to hand is fantastic. It comes with it’s own drawstring bag so easy to store away and keep in the car if you wish. It plops into the trolley seat with no hassle and takes under a minute to feed the straps through to secure your child. Then all you have to do is wrap the other piece of fabric round the trolley hand and it sticks back onto itself with velcro, sorted. Harlow seemed to quite enjoy the trolley liner and it meant I didn’t have to worry about her comfort or the fact she likes to lick the dirty trolley handle!! Oh and I don’t have to touch the trolley handle either since it’s covered in lovely fabric, bonus. The trolley liner is made from 100% cotton and has a 350 gram density inlay. It’s machine washable so you don’t have to worry if it gets dirty from the trolley or your little one.

The only small thing with the trolley liner is that since Harlow can be a diva near the end of the food shop she started trying to pull the fabric from the trolley handle. It didn’t bother me too much as it’s easy enough to velcro back down however miss madam pants thought it was then a game. Hopefully she’ll grow out of that habit.

Overall I loved the design, style and quality of all products. They’re really handy and well worth having especially the car seat protector when you’re potty training. It’s a brilliant idea and will cause a lot less stress for you and your child. These would make great presents as they’re something a bit different and I’d definitely recommend to family and friends.

I was sent these items in return for an honest review.


10 September 2016

Review & Giveaway: Rory's Story Cubes Batman Edition

Stories are a massive hit in our house with both the kids loving their bedtime reading. One thing we've never really done though is actually tell stories and by this I mean make up a tall tale from our imaginations and see where it takes us. I loved being told made up stories from my great gran Tod when I was really little and recently Rory's Story Cubes brought all the memories flooding back.

Rory's Story Cubes have launched the new and exciting Batman and Moomin versions for fans to get their hands on. Logan was sent the Batman version to review and I was quite intrigued. I wasn't sure if it would be like story stones to follow on with a book or if it would be something different altogether like a game of sorts. It was in fact billed as a sort of game but one that's not really competitive and is just for great fun and family story telling.

In the story cubes pack the box contains 9 different dice (the cubes) each with 6 unique Batman symbols on each side. That's 54 symbols by the way. There's a how to play guide and when you flip it over there's an icon guide on the back which tells you what all the different symbols mean. As well as this there's a handy little travel case which I love and fits perfectly in the palm of your hand. Excellent for when travelling.

It's very simple and easy to play with the story cubes. You can either play on your own by shaking the dice in your hands, rolling all 9 then making up your very own story from the symbols you see or you can play with family and friends. It's exactly the same but this time you can take turns being the narrator or if it's a large group you can give people 3 story cubes each and each person has to tell a part of the Batman story. The only rule is that there is no wrong answers. Some of the symbols are things like a bag of money but this could represent a bank robbery, payment to a nasty criminal or maybe someone's had a lottery win! You can let your imagination run wild with these Rory's Story Cubes.

Logan really enjoyed playing with his set of story cubes and it was perfect for a nice bit of quiet play that encourages concentration, imagination and language development. It's aimed at the 6 years + to adult market so was perfect for us. We would take turns telling each other a brilliantly action packed Batman story from the 9 dice we rolled. The pair of us would often chip in to each others story and takes turns so it was really good fun. It meant I got to spend some quality time with Logan too instead of having Harlow hanging off my arms and legs squealing in our ears, the wee monkey.

The only thing that is a bit of a shame is that the guide sheet doesn't fit into the amazing travel case that comes with the story cubes which is kind of annoying as I'm worried about losing the sheet. It wouldn't be so bad if I knew all the symbol names but there are 54 like I said and my brain really isn't what it used to be after two kids ha ha.

Overall Rory's Story Cubes Batman edition is a fab story telling game with an equally fab retail price of only £11.99. It's perfect to get the creative juices flowing and you can be as serious or as silly as you like when telling your story. I'd definitely recommend to friends and family, it's the perfect extra gift to put in with the kids birthday and Christmas presents.

If you would like to be in with a chance of winning your very own Rory's Story Cubes Batman edition then simply enter via the rafflecopter widget below. Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I was sent a copy of Rory's Story Cubes Batman edition in return for an honest review.


9 September 2016

Harlow's 20 Month Update

A few months have passed since Harlow’s last update and she’s now 20 months old so I thought it’s about time for another. I weighed her for the first time in ages on the big scales I’ve got in the bathroom. She stood perfectly and didn’t actually want to come off but would you believe she only weighs a mere 24lbs! There’s absolutely nothing of her but she continues to eat like a horse and is still in size 12-18 months clothes. I think I’ll need to purchase some new bodysuits for her soon though because she is getting quite tall and the poppers look a bit strained.

She’s absolutely loving feeding herself all the time now and has a major diva strop if you try to help in anyway. She’s so proud when she’s sitting holding her cutlery and stabbing her fork (or knife) into the pieces of food I’ve normally pre-cut. Any time she’s eating she has to have her cutlery in her hands and I’m quite impressed with how accurate she is in feeding herself. Even now I struggle to get her big brother to use his cutlery so Harlow’s doing pretty well I think.

Nappy changing time has become a bit of a drama these days. The only time she’s normally quite happy to have her nappy changed is first thing in the morning but any other time, even when we’re out, has become a battle of wills. She’s so quick and nimble as well I’m having to pin her down if she’s done a poo just to make sure I can clean it up before it goes everywhere. She shows me how disgusted she is with this though by trying to grab the dirty nappy or her bottom! Wee madam chops that she is.

Harlow now goes to a childminder one day a week and although I was worried about her diva antics at first, because she likes to fight back when other kids try and take a toy she has, she’s actually settled in really well and isn’t even bothered that myself or her Daddy aren’t around. I’m hoping this experience will show her she’s not the only precious princess on this earth and that sharing and compromise are key to a happy life. We’ll see how she gets on with that later.

Last weekend you might have noticed that the other half and I managed to get away for a night without the kids, hurrah! The grandparents had the kids and Harlow thankfully slept through the night with no bother and was quite happy without us. We’ll definitely be doing that again then so watch out grandparents! As for her sleeping in general she mostly sleeps straight through now with the odd waking once in the night every other week. Sometimes I’ll here her having a cry but she normally settles herself back to sleep without me having to go and get her.

Recently her love of books and music has grown with insane interest in the Usborne That’s Not My books, the Head Shoulders Knees and Toes song as well as the Iggle Piggle song from In the Night Garden. Sometimes she even requests the Head Shoulders Knees and Toes song by patting her head and trying to sing head at the same time. Very cute.

Since Logan has went back to school and started receiving homework again Harlow has taken it upon herself to try and join in. It’s funny to watch her scramble quickly over to the big dining room table and grab for the pencils and Logan’s homework jotter. I’ve substituted her big brother’s jotter with some paper so that they can both sit together and Logan’s teacher doesn’t think he’s reverted to nursery school writing.

I’ve booked up another little family mini break which is just around the corner. We’re all looking forward to getting away as it feels like ages since our last break in July! I’d love to hear what your little ones have all been up to recently and any milestones they’ve achieved.


6 September 2016

Autism Rocks Fife within the Community


Parents of children with autism will know what a daily battle it is to keep some form of normality and push forward with life in general when their child is struggling. Thankfully autism has more awareness nowadays but this doesn't always mean understanding or compassion from others. As most of you will know my son, Logan, was diagnosed with autism when he was three and a half years old and not a day goes by when it feels like I have to fight his corner for acceptance. People who don't live with autism on a daily basis really don't have any idea the stresses and strains that strangers tuts and stares or rude aggressive behavior can inflict on someone with autism.

Around the time of Logan's diagnoses there really wasn't anything within our community to help support children, teens or adults with autism. It was a lonely world out there for people affected by the condition and all anyone really wants is acceptance and a place to feel safe. Luckily for my family and the people of Fife Liza Quin, who's daughter is autistic, stepped up to the mark and with the help of a few dedicated volunteers created the amazing Autism Rocks Fife.
Who wants to have their photo taken anyway!
Based in Mehtil, Autism Rocks provide a safe haven for parents, children, teens and adults who can enjoy time in the company of like minded people without feeling pressure or judgement. The premises they have has a large hall full of toys, games and sensory equipment as well as a dining/ kitchen area for presentations, coffee mornings and lunches. Autism Rocks provide valuable support within the community and organise fabulous family days, pool parties, fundraisers and a special night just for the teens/ adults of the group.

As you can imagine word of this fantastic group has been spread far and wide with many people travelling quite far to attend and just to feel a bit of normality. No one judges here, everyone is accepted for who they are and frankly it's a god send for us. I would quite literally fear taking Logan out and about for panic of what people might think or say but this group has given me the strength to stand up for my son and to be the person he needs me to be. Logan also feels completely himself at these groups and loves attending the pool parties. He's always asking when the next one is. Without donations, fundraisers and local supports this group would never have come to fruition. Without the dedication and determination of the Autism Rocks team there simply would be no group, so thank you from the bottom of my heart. You're making life so much easier for people on a daily basis. Keep up the fantastic work.

Logan and his Daddy loving life.
If you have a community group that you're thankful for and wish to help them out in anyway you can then why not enter them into the HomeServe community project. Two community groups will receive a revamp of up to £4,000. A team of HomeServe engineers will volunteer a day of their time & any necessary materials to support the project, allowing them to get on with what they do best – supporting the community. Good Luck!

In return for writing this post money was donated to an organisation of my choice.


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