29.7.13

The Little Green Sheep Mattress Protector {Review}

When we decided to move Harry into his own bedroom we had to purchase a new cot bed as Charles' one had broken (apparently they can't cope with the weight of a man jumping on them, who knew?!) we also decided to get a new mattress.
We couldn't believe the state Charles' old one had got into with just a year and a half of use.
We were surprised at how horrid it was as we used the disposable mattress protectors all of the time, and this clearly proved that they weren't as absorbent as we hoped.

I was given the opportunity to review an Organic Cotton Mattress Protector from The Little Green Sheep.
I was interested to see if it would be any different to the disposable ones we had been using.

At first I was impressed with the size, as it completely covers the whole of the mattress (70cm x 140cm), the only thing that would have impressed me more if it was in the style of a fitted sheet so I could guarantee that it wouldn't move underneath the bed sheet.

Harry isn't a big bed wetter (by that I mean with leaky nappies) so we had to wait a while until we were able to review this product properly.
He does occasionally take a drink to bed which will sometimes leak or spill in some way and the mattress protector passed the test when it came to this.

Then, after thinking that we would never actually be able to do the leaky nappy test we had a breakthrough. Harry sat on his bed after a bath, without having a new nappy on, and well, wet the bed. Now normally I wouldn't praise such a thing but I was rather excited and immediately checked (and changed) the bedding. Although it had clearly soaked through to the mattress protector it hadn't gone any further than that.
Success!

The mattress is still as good as new and I am confident that it will remain that way for a very long time.

The mattress protector is easy to clean and is machine washable and tumble dryer safe.

The price may seem a little steep at £29.95 but when you consider the material used, the fact that it works and that you'll save money on disposable sheets then you can justify that cost.
If we needed to we would purchase another of the mattress protectors.

I was sent a mattress protector from The Little Green Sheep for the purpose of this review.
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28.7.13

24.7.13

Our Royal Baby Tea Party

Since the Royal Wedding I have been completely into the Royals. I always quite liked Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince Harry but I got swept up in the excitement of the wedding, and the Royals and have been excited about them ever since.
My husband is a Royalist and suggested we have a tea party for the Royal Wedding. At the time I wasn't too interested in seeing the family members as they arrived so I was busy in the kitchen all day preparing the many courses we had throughout the day and popped into the lounge every now and then when something interesting happened (when Prince William and Prince Harry arrived for example, which made a heavily pregnant me break down sobbing as I could just imagine how proud their mother would have been if she had been there).
We celebrated the Jubilee last year, making an effort to get to local events and to have flags and bunting up at home. So of course with the Royal Baby due, a Prince and a Future King, it was obvious that we had to celebrate it too.

The boys have very much caught our excitement and love for the Royals and Charles asks who everyone is, he asks where The Queen is, and Prince Charles and was desperate for the baby to arrive and to see him.
Harry loves babies and thought it was rather entertaining that their names were mentioned a few times on Sky News.

My husband works from home and now tends to come in, grab his lunch and then take it to work. We planed that the day the Royal Baby arrived or the day after would be our Tea Party day and we would do it at lunch time, with him sitting with us.

We didn't go over the top. We picked simple foods. But it was lovely to just sit together as a family, with bunting up at the window, waiting to hear when the new Prince and his parents would be leaving the hospital.

 
I'm opening this up as a linky so we can have a sort of mass (or small, whatever) blogging celebration for the new Prince.
Link up a tea party or anything you've done to celebrate the Royal Baby.

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23.7.13

Another Mummy Son Date

Back in May I planned a little date afternoon with Charles. I've been desperate to do that again, and with preschool finishing last Friday I thought that a trip to the cinema the following day would be a great start to the summer holidays, and my way of treating him for being so well behaved at school and enjoying it the whole year.
Also, recently the boys have become obsessed with Monsters Inc. and after seeing the Monsters University was on at the cinema I had to take Charles to see it. 
I felt a little cruel not taking Harry as he loves Monsters Inc. too but didn't want to risk him getting bored at the cinema and also wanted that one on one time with Charles.

We got to the cinema nice and early (early enough to pose outside for a couple of photos) and then went in. I talked him through getting your ticket, going to the toilet before hand so you don't have to walk out halfway through the film (which we had to do anyway!), picking sweets or popcorn (and the sweet/salty debate), picking a drink, queueing up then choosing your seat.
Charles has a fear of the dark although he has been to the theatre a few times so knows that the lights go down so thankfully was ok as the room got darker.

He was really good throughout the film, whispering when he needed to ask me something or to tell me that the film kept making him jump.
We snuggled, we laughed, we held hands, we exchanged a long sweet which was too tough for him to eat for a handful of my sweet popcorn and just had a perfect quiet relaxing time.

I was a little disappointed when it was time to go home as I loved spending that time with him but have started making plans for our next date day already.

 

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5 Quick and Easy Homemade Treats with Cadbury #cbias

Disclosure: I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias and their client.

With the school holidays upon us I am relying on various things to get me through. Coffee and chocolate will both play a big part in keeping me sane I'm sure.
I'm not a massive chocolate eater but tend to crave it after dinner sometimes so will send my husband out to the shops to get something.
I wondered if there was anything quick, basic with minimum ingredients that I could make at home if the cravings took hold.
Stood in Asda I wondered how many recipes I could create with just a few bars of Cadbury chocolate. You can see photos from my Asda shop on Google+.
Armed with a pack of 4 Dairy Milk bars, a standard pack of Fingers, a Crunchie, a Wispa, and a pack of Dairy Milk Biscuits as well as some other basic ingredients I headed home and got to work.

1: Mini Chocolate Fingers Cheesecake (Recipe Serves One)
 

12 chocolate fingers - crushed
A small spoon of butter
Add the crushed fingers to a saucepan, add the butter and melt. Once combined press into the bottom of a bowl and place into the fridge to chill for 10-15 minutes.
Add a layer of cream cheese.
In a saucepan melt 2 squares of Dairy Milk with a dash of double cream. Once the chocolate has melted pour on top of the cream cheese.
Grate a square of chocolate and sprinkle on top.

2: Mini Crunchie Cheesecake (Makes Two)

Crush the Dairy Milk Biscuits and stir in a saucepan with melted butter.
Press into the bottom of a bowl and chill for 10-15 minutes.
Melt a Wispa bar along with a tiny splash of milk, then combine in a bowl with some cream cheese.
Spread onto top of the biscuit base.
Slice a Crunchie into two, and chop up each half and sprinkle on top of the cream cheese.
Serve.

3: Instant Hot Chocolate/Chocolate Hearts
Melt down one bar of Dairy Milk and pour into a silicone case (any shape!) and add sprinkles or mini marshmallows.
Place in the fridge to chill.
Then either serve as a yummy heart shaped chocolate or place in the bottom of a mug and pour in boiling milk.
Stir, stir, stir and you have an instant hot chocolate.

4: Baked Apples with Chocolate and Raisins

Cut the apple in half and take out the seeds. 
In this 'dip' running down the centre of the apple, place chunks of Dairy Milk chocolate and add raisins. 
Spread a tiny piece of butter on the apple and place the apple on a baking tray.
Add a tiny bit of water and a small nob of butter to the baking tray.
Cook in an oven at 210 degrees for 20 minutes.
Serve with ice cream.

5: Simply and easy ice cream sprinkles.
Am I the only one who has noticed the price of ice cream sprinkles? They can be so expensive, for what they are, and in all honestly I'm not a big fan of the texture of sprinkles when served with ice cream. And judging by Charles' reaction when served with this instead of the sprinkles we usually get I'm guessing he preferred this too!
 

So, for a better texture, at a fraction of the cost of sprinkles, take one square of chocolate, grate half of it thinly, place the remaining half in your mouth and eat.
Sprinkle the grated chocolate onto ice cream.
Easy.

I still have a bar of Dairy Milk left so once we've topped up our marshmallow stash we will be using it to make some of our marshmallow pops.

Easy, quick and cheap recipes.
Try them out.
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21.7.13

Some Things I Love #2


 
The announcement that the Cybher tickets were for sale! I purchased one straight away. It will be my first time at Cybher and I cannot wait as I've heard so many good things about it.
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I love this SO much. Louise is amazing, her blog is Sprinkle of Glitter and is one of my absolute favourite blogs. She is also a Youtuber and I love watching her new video every week.
I bought this necklace after meeting the seller at the Country Fayre held at Heveningham Hall. I saw some Scrabble letter earrings and asked if she had the necklace, she didn't with her so I had to order it online. I adore it.
We went to Charles' preschool on Wednesday for a little concert. It was adorable listening to the children singing nursery rhymes and the alphabet.
Charles' best friend stood up and did the alphabet all by himself and even though I'm not his mummy I felt really proud of him.
Also the best moment for me this week was finally hearing Charles say "I love you" to his keyworker, and her replying with "I love you more".

Quality time with my boys. I've had a lot of quality time with Harry whilst Charles has been at preschool and recently decided to have "Mummy-Charlie" when we can.
We had a little date yesterday which was really really lovely. He's such a wonderful child.



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Silent Sunday 200713


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20.7.13

Our Summer Plans

I have a bucket list with various things I would like to achieve in my lifetime. With Charles starting big boy school in September I wanted to make sure that we make the most of the summer holidays.

I am making two lists. One for just me and the boys to complete when my husband is at work, and one for us as a family.

The three of us:
Family:
I wanted to make the lists achieveable and didn't want to put too much on them. The reason I have left them until now, rather than before the school holidays starting, was so that I didn't put too much pressure on myself to get a start with it.
I think I have some easy things to complete (the zoo as we go there a lot anyway) with a lovely mix off not so easy (catch trout!).

If we pick fruit as a family I can't then cross it off the top list too, we have to do that as the three of us.
I plan to have a different boat trip as a family than the one I go on with the boys.
A picnic with my husband will hopefully involve him leaving work for an hour and walking to a local beauty spot.

I'm going to give us until September the 4th to complete, which I think gives us enough time to get the things done without the added pressure of rushing.
A matter of choice
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19.7.13

Today.

Today I am a ticking timebomb, my emotions are anyway.
I can feel them bubbling away in my tummy, in my eyes, in my head, in my heart, waiting for the moment to come when I can't hold it in any longer.

Maybe to some I am over-reacting. That's fine. But I feel sorry that they haven't had this positive experience that we have for the past 11 months.

Charles almost didn't go to this preschool. We had his name down at a nursery within a school, but as it was out of catchment we didn't get a place. So I phoned this preschool and despite a huge waiting list we were given a place.
I am so thankful that he didn't get a place at the nursery. He may have enjoyed it, but I can't see him having the same experience he has had the past 11 months.
He settled in so well. Made friends quickly. And instantly had a crush on a couple of the staff members, which for one evolved into him having his first love.
He adores her. He giggles at the sight of her and when you mention her name.
He talks about her a lot, and always asks if she will be there. He looks out for her car as soon as we pull up, and if she isn't there he asks where she is or decides himself what she must be doing (shopping, at home having lunch etc).

In the whole time he has been there we have had no tears at me leaving him, only tears at me collecting him 15 minutes early once!
Every single day he has been excited to go, excited to see his friends, excited to see the staff, excited to see the activites they have out, excited to learn new things.

He has learnt so much there. Walking in all parents see are tables of various toys and activities, and it's easy to say "I could keep them at home to play with toys!" but within each toy, each activity, is a learning process.
Shapes, colours, how can we build things, what does that look like, how can we use that.
He has learnt more at preschool than I could have taught him by keeping him at home.

I felt such guilt at first by sending him for the full 15 hours we are allocated with funding. Was I being too hasty at pushing him away for such a long time? Would I regret him going there everyday?
Looking back. I absolutely have no regrets at all.
He has loved every.single.minute there and if I had sent him for less than 15 hours I'm sure I would have asked to increase them as he would be begging to go everyday, he would go at the weekend if he could!
I know that if I hadn't sent him for all of this time, or even at all, that he wouldn't have had any other interaction with other children, because of the lack of groups around.
I felt jealous of these ladies who would be spending this time with MY son, enjoying things with him, having fun with him, listening to his laughter and giggles, and comforting him if he hurt himself. All these things I thought only I should experience, and do with him.
Now I am glad and proud that other people have been able to share my son (not sure how else to phrase that!) and to spend this time with him. I am glad that he has been able to laugh and giggle with other adults.
I love that he has been able to build his confidence, and although he is shy with other people I am glad of that (stranger danger) and I like that he wants people to make an effort to be his friend.

Today is his last day.
The day we say goodbye to his amazing keyworker, the brilliant staff members, who have all been such a big part of his life since September last year.
Although Harry will be starting there next year (September 2014) Charles won't be there at all, and this is where my sadness lies.
It has seemed like such a short time that he has been there, and it feels as though we are cutting it short. And although he is ready to move on, to learn new things, and be around children who are his age and not a mixutre of two and half-almost 5 year olds) I am sad that he is leaving this environment that he is so comfortable and confident within.

This week has already been full of tears from me. Yesterday as I queued to sign him out my eyes were full of tears. I kept my head down so no one would notice, trying to calm myself down and 'get over it'. And then a voice shouted across the room "Mummy, why are you so sad?".
Everyone then noticed, we all said "awwwww" and we all laughed. Except my laughing turned to sobbing.

I wish I didn't have to do this. But I know I have to.
There is no way to stop it. It has to happen, and I have to cope.
But tears are fine. Crying is ok.
And I would rather be sad about him leaving than glad.
I'm delighted that we are able to leave with nothing but happy memories. And that in years to come when we talk about his school life I can start the story with this.
A happy time.
A time we have all loved, and will forever hold in our hearts.



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17.7.13

Coming to the End

I didn't want to write about this. Funnily enough I can write about my anxiety issues, other things in my personal life and feel fine to be so open, but this feels too personal to talk about.
But this week is horrid. And I think the migraine I have suffered all day is due to the emotional bomb ticking in my head, exploding every now and then, resetting itself ready for the next day and getting bigger and bigger.

My little Charles is leaving preschool.
And although I am fine with him going to big boy school, well as fine as I can be, there are certain things I am dreading but he is SO excited and so ready for the next step in education and learning that I know it's right for him.
But the issue with this week is him leaving preschool. And as ready as he is to leave I feel so sad. So broken hearted.
The staff there are amazing. Absolutely amazing.
He has best friends there.
Yes I know, I could try and keep in touch with their parents but it's easier said than done with school holidays, other siblings, and working parents.
On Thursday he will say Goodbye to one of the friends. And it breaks my heart that he will be saying goodbye for the last time.
And that they don't really understand.
I wish I could fix things so that his friend was a little older (he is a year younger so not starting big school until 2014) and was going to the same school as Charles.

Anyway. Just thinking of it makes me so sad.

I know Charles will get over it, in fact he doesn't seem at all bothered now. Although I think maybe he doesn't quite understand that he won't see these friends again, or his keyworker who he absolutely loves.
Yes he may forget about them.
But I won't.
These special ladies, and special children, who have meant the world to him. These people who have made my son laugh, giggle and smile.
These people who have made him so excited about preschool. So excited to see them everyday.
So excited to learn new things, to play silly games, to be creative.

Today he has his end of school party.
We go at the end to hear a few songs they've been practising for us.
I wonder how anyone will hear over my sobbing.
As I walked into the preschool Monday I burst into tears when the manager asked how I was. I then made her cry by telling her I was upset at Charles leaving.
I had to tear myself away, I didn't want to leave.
And I've spent the past two days crying at silly little things.

It may sound like I'm over-reacting, but I honestly don't know how to pull myself together enough to get him to school the next three days, and to pick him up.
He see's me crying, I tell him why I cry, I'm not into hiding emotions and the reasons behind them so I won't lie to him.
In fact, when a group of boys saw me crying on Monday they laughed at me, then showed off the bruises and grazes they had all gained over the weekend, trying to out-do each other. Which really made me laugh.

Charles has brought home his snack mat, and a couple of paintings, a certificate and this, one of the proudest and cutest photos of him I have (photo of a photo, hence the quality).
Grab the tissues, hold my hand tight, lets go.
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14.7.13

Some Things That I Love #1

For a while now I've been wanting to join in with linkys again. I want to get some kind of organisation with my blog so that I post certain things on certain days but have found it all a bit manic recently with so many ideas that I haven't quite been able to organise anything! If you saw the amount of posts I have in draft you'll see how much of a muddle I am in!
Whilst having a search on Bloglovin' at stupid o'clock on Friday night (ok Saturday morning at 1am!) I was reminded of a link up I had read before and always meant to join in with because I loved the idea of it. But Why Mummy Why's Some Things That I Love.
I hope to be able to keep up with this and think it's the perfect post for Sundays to start or end the week depending on how you start or end your week. Yeah.

I am a little bit obsessed with Bloglovin'. It's an essential part of my morning routine. Check emails, check Twitter, check Bloglovin'.
I've discovered so many amazing blogs because of it and I love that I can list all of my favourites on there without having to scrawl through my emails looking for the subscription updates.
I think the next thing I need to do is to sort the blogs into lists so it's a little bit more tidy and organsied.
I'm on there if you want to follow me of course (my blog seems to be on there twice, make sure you follow .com not .se)
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The boys have always been close but in the past month or so have become even closer. This week they've been playing so nicely in the garden, chasing each other, going down the slide together and inside the house they have been dancing together and cuddling.
I love sitting watching them.

I bought a Soap and Glory Nude Eyeshadow Palette a couple of weeks ago. I wouldn't normally choose those colours but I'm glad I did. I'd seen this palette recommended by Sprinkle of Glitter (one of my major blog crushes who I found via Bloglovin coincidentally) and thought I would try it.
I absolutely love it and have been wearing it every single day.
This is currently mine and Harry's favourite song. We listen to it around 10 times a day, if not more.
He dances like the little boy in the video which is so cute.
Obvious answer but these two:


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13.7.13

Harry Aged 2...Loves...



If you want to join in you can link up your post here.



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12.7.13

A Second Birthday at Bewilderwood

If you ask anyone in East Anglia for suggestions of days out there is one place which is recommended time and time again.
Bewilderwood, The Curious Treehouse Adventure.
For years I have heard how amazing this place is. How fun it was. Photographs I've seen on Facebook show families having an amazing time and people generally tend to visit two or three times a year.

I'm quite a girly girl. I can't climb trees, I won't even attempt to, I don't like heights and I don't like assault courses.
But seeing as we've made a rule that we need to stop thinking of ourselves when it comes to days out and think about the boys I suggested we visit Bewilderwood for Harry's Second Birthday.

The week of Harry's birthday we booked our tickets (these were complimentary) and had a good look at the website. Although the heights and active side of it didn't attract me at first, I liked the fairytale woodland story that has been created around the attraction.

As soon as you drive in you are taken in by the theme of the attraction. Although it's not completely in your face, it's subtle but really lovely.

We walked down to the gate and was surprised to see a 'Happy Birthday Harry' message on the chalk information board. This really made us smile and was a great start to our special day out.

There are three things I'm particularly fussy about when visiting attractions:
1- Cleanliness. For a woodland adventure park I expected the odd piece of rubbish to be flying around, and various cigarette butts, but there was NOTHING. The whole place was spotless.
2- Toilets. Ok the toilets are tiny cabins which can be expected in the middle of the woods and although basic they are usable. (leave your bags with your husband/family as there isn't much room to move within the cubicles).
3- Staff. Probably one of my biggest bug bears, and most likely to get me complaining, is rude, grumpy, unapproachable staff. Every single person we encountered at Bewilderwood was exactly as I would hope. Happy, friendly, and any member of staff we passed as we walked around would acknowledge us and ask if we were having a good day.

There is SO much to do there. Really. Every way you walk there is a new bridge to cross, ladder or steps to climb, slide to go down, log to balance on and walk across.
Harry was probably a little to small for half of it but there was plenty of other things for him to do, and it didn't stop him from having a go.
Going back to the mention of fantastic staff, we went on the little boat trip around the scaaaary lake. The 'driver' of the boat tells a story about the woods and the Crocklebog, we couldn't help but wonder how many times a day he has to tell this same story but he was a brilliant storyteller and was still cheery at 4 o clock despite being out in the sun all day.

We usually take our pushchair for Harry to sit in once he gets tired but we didn't take it here. There are lots of places to sit down for a rest as you walk around and I really think children will be far too busy to even want to rest.
It's not too far to get back to the car park if you need to grab a pushchair of course.

We decided to buy lunch there. Although it was yummy I think next time we would take a picnic. This is one regret we had, not due to the food they had on offer, but because the location is perfect for a picnic.
Coffee lovers must grab a coffee from the Munch Bar, it was beautiful!

We all had an amazing day, yes, even girly girl me! The highlight for me was discovering the little houses high in the treetops, and the tiny steps and doors at the bottom of the trees.
 There's the opportunity to build a den, which my husband would have loved if he was capable of building a den.
The boys pretty much loved every single thing. I think at 2 and 4 they are now the perfect age to enjoy Bewilderwood.

These are four of our 'top tips':

Stay late: When we went it was quite quiet with the odd school group but I think with places like this people tend to leave earlier because they are so tired. Our trick is to arrive later and leave later, you get the majority of the attraction to yourself therefore more chance for the children to get a chance to go on the slides without having to queue for ages.
Wipes and anti-bacterial gel: As expected hands get dirty, as do feet if you wear flat sandles like I did.
Take a picnic: As I mentioned before this is the perfect place for a picnic. There are various picnic tables situated around the woodland and grassy areas too.
Insect repellent: A must! We suffered with a few bad insect bites, obviously not a complaint as there's nothing the attraction can do about gnats and mosquitos. We will definitely be taking insect repellent with us next time though.

I honestly cannot praise this place enough and we cannot wait to go back!

Admission Prices
Ticket type Price
Born to BeWILD under 92cm £0.00
Almost WILD 92-105cm £11.50
BeWILD Now! 105-250cm £13.50
Used to BeWILD 65 yrs+ £9.00
We were given complimentary tickets to Bewilderwood.
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