30 October 2016

My Sunday Photo - 30.10.16



27 October 2016

Review: From Babies with Love

Isn’t it great buying toys and clothes for your little one? I personally love spoiling my kids and getting them lots of lovely things. In fact they’re both better dressed than me and have all the latest gadgets, toys and family holidays they could ever want! But the sad reality is that this doesn’t happen for every child. Some children, through no fault of their own, are born into very difficult circumstances. These poor children go through situations no adult should ever have to go through never mind a child but thankfully From Babies with Love are here to help.

Here’s what From Babies with Love do to help support these children: “From Babies with Love supports orphaned and abandoned babies to live in SOS Children’s Villages. These children have lost their parents through war, famine, disease or poverty. SOS Children is a charity who creates communities for children who have nobody to turn to. The children are cared for by their SOS Mother; they live in family homes in the village with their SOS brothers and sisters. This enables children who would otherwise be left to fend for themselves, on the streets or in slums, to have a second chance in life. The children’s circumstances are not their fault, and by being loved, cared for and educated, they go on to lead independent lives, breaking the cycle of poverty.”

From Babies with Love have an online shop where all profits go around the world to help abandoned children. They’ve recently added some delightful organic toys to their range which are just lovely and perfect for any age of child. They would especially make a great newborn gift when teamed with the matching greetings card and drawstring gift bag. Luckily for you the gift bag and card come as complimentary with purchases from From Babies with Love. It adds that extra special little touch and makes your gift stand out from the crowd. You’ll be glad to hear that delivery is a measly £3.45 in the UK (or free when you spend over £40.00). If you’re purchasing from abroad then delivery is a reasonable £4.95 for Europe or £7.95 Worldwide.

Harlow was lucky enough to be sent a very cute Stork Organic Soft Toy from the new organic toy collection. It’s beautifully crafted as you can see from the photos and is quite a decent size for children to carry around and play with. The stork has been stuffed quite well so is managing to keep it’s shape and Harlow’s had hers for a month now so this is good going as she’s quite hard on her toys. The stork is made from super soft organic cotton and is perfect for snuggling. If you don’t fancy a stork for your little one then there’s always the whale, duck, monkey or jellyfish to choose from. I think they all look great but Harlow choose the stork hence why we got that one.

I personally really like it that From Babies with Love give all of their profits to orphaned and abandoned children around the world. It’s something that more companies should definitely do as From Babies with Love are a brilliant brand that give something back. There is of course not just these fab soft toys but lots of lovely items of clothing to browse through as well as door hangers and prints. I'd definitely recommend to family and friends.

This brand really like to spread the love so please do check them out on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to keep up to date with all the good work that they do.

I was sent the lovely stork soft toy in return for an honest review.
Family Fever

26 October 2016

Review & Giveaway: Orchard Toys What's the Time, Mr. Wolf?

Learning to tell the time is such a big part of growing up and it can be quite difficult to explain to your children. I've tried to teach Logan how to tell the time often however he either gets very bored very quickly or I end up losing my patience as it just doesn't seem to be sinking in. Bad Mummy I know but when you've said the same thing about a million times you need to step back and stop for a while. Clearly whatever I was doing wasn't working (or Logan wasn't ready) so when Orchard Toys brought out their brilliant new game What's the Time, Mr. Wolf? I thanked my lucky stars.

What’s The Time, Mr. Wolf? is yet another ingenious educational but fun game from Orchard Toys. It helps your child with time telling skills not only in analogue but in digital time too. When Logan received his copy of the game he was eager to get playing. Included in the box is a playing board which you piece together like a jigsaw. It goes round in an infinity loop as there’s no real finish, I’ll explain this later. There’s a clock face with moving hands, a 3D Mr Wolf character who has a cut out mouth, 4 collection boards, a dice, 4 character markers and square cards which have woodland animals on one side with the written and digital time and the analogue time on the other side.

So the playing board is sort of an infinity because you place your woodland character marker on the correct matching spot and roll the dice to start off. The game goes round in a loop until one player collects all 4 square cards on their collection board. This isn’t as easy as you think because on the playing board there’s either a clock or a Mr Wolf. If you land on a clock you ask “What’s the time, Mr. Wolf?” and pick a square card to read putting the time on the square card onto the clock face. You then turn the square card over to see if it’s the same as you moved the clock face hands to. If it is you get to keep the square card and put it on your collection board. If it’s wrong then you put it back on the table. If you should happen to land on a Mr Wolf when you roll the dice then you say “Dinner time!” and if you have any cards on your collection board then one must get fed to the hungry 3D Mr Wolf. You keep going like this until one of the players collection boards is full up.

Logan was initially a bit frustrated at playing this game because his time telling skills aren’t the best. He’s only beginning to learn about the time and trying to figure it out but once he had played a few games he started to recognise certain times and was managing very well to put the clock hands to the correct numbers in order to win the square card he wanted. With some patience on his part and more practice he won’t need my help soon. This game is for 2-4 players and can take anywhere from 15-20 minutes to play depending really on how the dice is rolled and if you keep landing on Mr Wolf who eats all your cards. It’s a great game for encouraging concentration and observational skills as well as number and counting skills. It definitely 100% develops personal and social skills because the amount of chatting and discussion Logan and I were having about the time was quite in depth in order for him to understand how he could tell the time correctly, win the squares then ultimately win the game. There’s an element of matching and memory skills mixed in there as well which is great as time telling is a valuable life skill to have. How often as adults do we take telling the time for granted. I know I do it every day and there’s not a day goes past where time isn’t involved in some form or another.

What’s The Time, Mr. Wolf? is actually two games in one so more bang for your buck as they say. On the other side of the collection boards is the time printed in analogue so you can switch it around by placing the square cards in a pile, animal side up, on the floor/ table. Nothing else from the other game is needed. The aim is then to be the first to fill your collection board by matching the written or digital times on the animal cards to the times shown on the clock faces on your collection board. This game is a lot quicker than the first but is of course harder so is aimed at older children. The whole game is aimed at 5-9 year olds and it’s really fun to play so you’ll get plenty of use out of it.

Logan and I both really enjoyed this game once we got into it and priced at £9.50 it won’t break the bank. If you think you like the look of this game yourself then why not enter my giveaway below to be in with a chance of winning your very own? Go on, the kids will thank you for it.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Logan was sent the What's the Time, Mr. Wolf? game from Orchard Toys in return got an honest review.

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!

Family Fever

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.

I was sent a Bathing Bunnies Bath Robe in return for an honest review.

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.


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