10/31/2017

Learning Resources Pretend & Play Calculator Cash Register - Review & Competition



Learning Resources are know for their extensive range of award winning learning toys for children aged 2 through to 12. They’ve been creating exciting and ground-breaking toys for the past twenty years and their toys aren’t just for fun but are fantastic learning aids too. They cover a wide range of different areas from Numeracy and Literacy through to Science and Early Years and it comes as no surprise that they've won countless awards for them.

Recently we were asked if we'd like to review their Pretend & Play Calculator Cash Register and with it being something on Noah's wishlist I was more than happy to agree. As you can see by the photo below, Noah was absolutely over the moon when the cash register arrived. Straight away I was impressed with the cash register. Just by looking at the box I could tell that this was a toy that now only would Noah really enjoy but one which I'd approve of too. We were both so excited to play!


The cash register doesn't need to be assembled and it doesn't require any batteries as the calculator is solar powered, this in itself is just what every parent wants! Why can't more toys be like this? The oversized buttons on the till and the large digital display are perfect for young children and a great way for them to practice early maths skills whilst they play. Once out the box we just had to pop in the play money which is included and we were ready to go! 

The tray compartment of the till pops open with the press of a button and contains multiple sections to place the money. The cash register comes with a huge bag of the play money; x10 of each coin and x4 £5, £10, £20 and £50 notes. The money, especially the coins are so life like which I think I think makes role play so much more realistic. It also comes with a little notepad and credit card which is a nice added touch. 


Once set up I Noah what kind of shop he'd like. After a little bit of deliberation he decided that he wanted to work in a cafe so he could make Ava and I some lunch. With his cafe idea in mind we decided to include another Learning Resources toy that we already had, the New Sprouts Soup's On set. On the notepad which comes with the register I wrote down my order and read it out to him. He then made up a fresh batch of soup, served it in bowls, blew it to make sure it was cool and passed it over to me.


He then rung it up in the till and I paid in cash. Once we'd completed the transaction we did it over and over again and created different scenario's to act out. After Noah's cafe we had a toy shop, clothes shop and even a pet shop too! Ava's favourite was the cafe though, she loved to try to help serve the soup and gnaw on the plastic vegetables, which are the perfect size for her little hands.


The Pretend & Play Calculator Cash Register is suitable from ages 3-7, retails at £35.65 and is worth every single penny! It's an amazing toy that is so much fun, it encourages your child's imagination all while teaching them through play. I can't recommend it enough.

I've teamed up with Learning Resources to giveaway a Pretend & Play Calculator Cash Register to one lucky winner! To enter simply use the Gleam form below! Good luck and don't forget to enter my other blog competitions!

Learning Resources Pretend & Play Calculator Cash Register worth £35

Terms & Conditions.         
1. There will be 1 winner who will the prize mentioned above.
2. Prize sent directly by the PR. 
3. Competition ends 30/11/17.
4. Incomplete entries with be disqualified.
5. UK entries only.
 

10/30/2017

Siblings - September & October 2017


As the title suggests, this months Siblings post is a double whammy. I've been so exhausted busy with blogging and home life that time just got the better of me. It's been two months since my last Siblings post but better late than never! Noah and Ava have both changed so much in such a short amount of time and it's an absolute joy to watch their bond grow on a daily basis, they are still getting a long like a house on fire.

September




September saw Noah going back to nursery and our daily routine becoming very structured. Ava turned 6 months old and started to really be able to express herself and interact more with Noah. Every month Noah is able to enjoy her company more and he loves it when they play with his toys together. He's often found telling her the names of all his favourite superheros and villains or jumping up and down performing for her. She's takes it all in with a big cheesy grin and lots and lots of giggles! I think she idolises him! 

October




October has been a strange month and a fantastic one all rolled in one. Noah started October with a bout of Croup and then had Norovirus a week later! Fortunately Ava managed to avoid both, so I just had one poorly child to look after all while trying to avoid him spreading it to her. I was having to tell him to not to kiss her and he really struggled with it. All that aside it has been a fantastic month, with a family break away to Butlin's which we will be reviewing soon. Of course we are now ending the month with one of our favourite times of year; Halloween! With it being Ava's first Halloween I thought she may have been a little scared, especially of her big brothers zombie costume but she giggles and smiles at his scary mask! I can see these two being double trouble when they both get older, they already keep me on my toes!


The Siblings Project - Dear Beautiful

10/29/2017

My Sunday Photo - 44/52



Here's a lovely photo of my little pumpkin Ava. It's her first ever Halloween this year so I've snapped some lovely shots of her to commemorate it, a long with shots with her brother too. They'll be lovely to look back at when she's older. 

OneDad3Girls

10/28/2017

Project 365 - Week 43/52


22nd October 2017

23rd October 2017

24th October 2017

25th October 2017

26th October 2017

27th October 2017

28th October 2017

As we come to the end of the year I swear these weeks are passing even faster, especially with Noah's back at nursery! My weekdays are so routine based these days, there's not much room for spontaneity. My life literally revolves around nursery runs for Noah and nap times for Ava! Thankfully we've all been better this week, the tummy bugs are long gone. It's been nice to be able to do things without wanting to throw up again. As mentioned above Noah was back at nursery full time this week and he had such a great time as all the activities they've done have been Halloween themed. They've decorated pumpkins, done pumpkin hammering, made slime, danced to halloween music, had decorations and so on. He also had his first "school trip" which was an autumnal walk to a local forest and park. Seeing the photo's of him on the walk in his nursery coveralls was so cute! I kinda wish I'd had followed him up secretly, it would've been so funny to watch. Halloween activities and trips aside he had his nursery photo's taken this week too. I was wondering how he'd fare this year, if we'd get any shots of him smiling nicely as he does like to pull funy faces these days but they've come back already and I'm so pleased with them! Ava has come on leaps and bounds this week too, she seems to learn something new every day at the minute! She's so smart and so quick to pick up new things! Her new favourite thing to do is play on her brothers xylophone! It's now the weekend and we've spend the day carving pumpkins and decorating the house for Halloween!

What have you been up to this week?

10/27/2017

Mummy & Me - October



There are so many photo's that I could have chose for this months Mummy & Me but I had to go for the photo's from our recent family break to Butlin's. We had such a fantastic time and the kids were so well behaved, none of us wanted to leave! We were actually invited to review their Just 4 Tots breaks so stop by in the next couple of weeks to read all about our thoughts if you are thinking about going yourself.

The four photo's I chose are pretty self explanatory really, showing what we got up to whilst we were there. Lots of exploring and having fun! My favourite picture has got to be the silly selfie of Noah and I, we were just setting off for a day on the Skegness sea front and were so excited! Here's to our next break away!




10/26/2017

Updating My Wardrobe For Autumn


One thing I don't tend to do as much now that I'm a parent is treat myself. To anything really and I'm at my worst when it comes to clothing. I'm always buying the kids new outfits, even when they really don't need that new jumper or pair of shoes. I on the other hand, have about four go to outfits that I wear every single week and that's it. I'm not alone in this though am I? It's totally a parent thing!

With the change of seasons brings a change of wardrobe, it's time for lots of layers and wooly hats. I've been promising myself a brand new outfit for months, so with the change of season and my recent weight loss it's the perfect excuse to treat myself to something new!

I've been browsing online and have come up with my perfect outfit, not just for Autumn but all year round too. Skinny grey jeans, floaty baby pink camisole teamed up with a black faux leather jacket and finished with a white tote. This is my taste to a tee, pieces which can be mixed and matched with other garments and choices that never go out of style.



Erika Biker Faux Fur Leather Jacket // £37.99
Let's start with the jacket, how gorgeous is it? I don't own a faux leather jacket yet as I'v been looking for the perfect one for years. At just £37.99 I think I'd be crazy not to buy this as it ticks all the boxes. It's also one of those pieces which is suitable all year round. In the summer I'd pair it with a chiffon dress and some strappy sandals.

REISS Edie White Leather Tote Bag // £190.00
Now you may think I'm a little crazy to have my eye on this bag but after using changing bags for the past four years I'm due a bit of glamour aren't I? It's currently in the handbag sale at Love The Sales, marked down to £190 from £295! A huge saving of £105. It's definitely on my Christmas list this year and I keep hinting to my other half about it.

Warehouse Double Layer Vest // £20.99
I'm not a girly girl, not by a long shot but I am partial to a bit of pink! This floaty little number from Warehouse is an absolute steal at this price. The double layer effect really adds some texture to an outfit and it's a piece which can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion.

Abercrombie & Fitch Grey Skinny Jeans // £74.99
Last but not least we have a pair of jeans from the ever so popular, Abercrombie & Fitch. Skinny jeans have been a staple in my wardrobe for as long as I can remember, you can't beat a good pair of skinnies! Just like the vest, handbag and jacket this piece is really versatile.

When was the last time you treated yourself to a new outfit?
- via Love The Sales. 



Car Tyre Safety Month With Point S


Around this time of year, the cold begins to set in, the days become shorter and the weather generally takes a turn for the worse. Driving inevitably becomes a little different over the winter months and more care is needed when it comes to safely maintaining and using your vehicle. 

The tyres on your car are the only part of the vehicle which is in constant contact with the road surface. They play a vital role in ensuring Steering, braking and acceleration are able to perform as they should. There are some basic checks which you can make before starting any journey which will not only give you piece of mind, but also help to ensure the safety of yourself and your passengers.


Tyre Pressure
An incorrect tyre pressure can have drastic consequences. Not enough pressure will severely affect the handling of your vehicle making it unpredictable, especially at high speeds and can actually lead to a rapid deflation of the tyre which can have catastrophic consequences. Having the correct pressure will increase the lifespan of the tyre and can even help to reduce running costs of your vehicle as there if less force needed to move an adequately inflated tyre.

Tread Depth
By law, any tyre on your car needs to have a minimum of 1.6mm tread depth. This tread is essential for the removing water from the contact point of the tyre and the road. In wet conditions, steering, braking and acceleration can be seriously affected if there is not enough tread on the tyre. Tread is so important that failure to meet the legal minimum can result in a £2500 fine and three points on your license for each illegal tyre.

Visual inspection
It is good practice before starting any journey to have a thorough visual check of all the tyres on your car. You need to look for any obvious signs of damage or objects which may have penetrated and be stuck in the tyre. You should remove any embedded objects and if you notice any cracks, bulges or cuts then consider replacing the tyre immediately.

These simple checks can and do prevent accidents but sometimes new tyres are needed. You can place your orders for car tyres on Point S online. Remember, the only thing between the road and yourself are your tyres. If you look after them, they will look after you.

- This is a collaborative post.

10/25/2017

Mister Maker Let's Make It App & Craft Kit - Competition



It's time to get creative! Inspired by the hit CBeebies TV show Mister Maker’s Arty Party!, this official app is guaranteed to give hours of creative fun. ★★★★★ “Best app I've downloaded!” ★★★★★ “Such a lot to do...my 4 & 7 year olds love it” ★★★★★ “Fantastic” ★★★★★ “Great value for money” ★★★★★ “Gluing without the mess!!! Fun with lots of activities”


Let their imagination run wild
Designed especially for your own budding Mini-Makers, this app allows kids to imagine and create an unlimited number of pictures and designs using the extensive range of over 350 colours, materials and special effects available from the Doodle Drawers. LOTS TO DO Why not take a photo or import your favourite holiday snap, before turning it into a whacky creation to share with your friends. What would grandma look like wearing a snorkel and why has grandad got red hair? GOT A MINUTE? Then take part in 20 different Minute Make challenges. Check out the new SEA LIFE Adventure Minute Makes in association with SEA LIFE Centre and learn some important conservation stories. PLAY IT! Learn to identify shapes and watch them morph into fun objects in the original Shapes Game, or play the brand new Match-3 game.

Safe Mister Maker environment
Mister Maker himself is on-hand to give continuous positive advice and encouragement to your Mini-Makers using video and audio guidance. Also includes The Shapes, Tocky, The Doodle Drawers, Minute Makes, Frame It! together with all the familiar music and sound effects from the TV show. Mister Maker: Let’s Make It! is so much more than another colouring game, it offers endless creative possibilities and hours of fun.


Features
• Produce unlimited numbers of pictures and designs. 
• Choose from 350+ colours and fun materials. 
• Extensive range of tools and special effects. 
• Take photos or use existing pictures and turn them into whacky creations. 
• Create unlimited frames for your artwork. 
• Share with family and friends using email or print*. 
• Take part in Minute Make challenges. 
• Play two games based on the The Shapes.
The Mister Maker Let's Make It app is available to purchase and download now, for both Android and Apple users. To celebrate the launch of the app I've teamed up with P2games to give away a Mister Maker Bumper Craft Box and copy of the app to one lucky winner! To enter simply use the Gleam form below! Good luck and don't forget to enter my other blog competitions!

Mister Maker Bumper Craft Box & Mister Maker Let's Make It App

Terms & Conditions.         
1. There will be 1 winner who will the prize mentioned above.
2. Prize sent directly by the PR. 
3. Competition ends 26/11/17.
4. Incomplete entries with be disqualified.
5. UK entries only.
 

10/24/2017

Ava - 7 Months Old



Another month has been and gone, Ava is now 7 months old! It really doesn't feel like it's been 7 months but it probably should do considering how I've not had a full night sleep since she was born but it really doesn't. It only feels like two minutes ago that she was born but at the same time it feels like she's always been here. She's fitted so well into our already strong family dynamic, the last piece of our family puzzle. We are all absolutely besotted with her. 


Character
Mummy's little sweetheart pretty much sums Ava up to a tee. She's so sweet, happy and loving and as she's getting older her personality is coming on leaps and bounds. She has a funny side where she loves to perform to make you laugh and smile, just like her brother. She's usually very laid back and easy going but I've noticed this month that she starting to show a bit of sass! If we do something she's not happy with, she'll sure tell you about it by either screeching or crying. I've been reading about it and this is typical of her age as it's the stage where they start experimenting and learning about emotions and how to show and control them. 



Size

I haven't weighed her this month but she's definitely bigger! She's still wearing 6-9 month clothing but it wouldn't surprise me if some bits get a little short in the next few weeks, depending on the fitting of course. She's also just about moving up into a size 4 nappy. Looking at her I wouldn't say she looked 7 months old, she looks older.


Health
She's been a bit hit and miss this month. She's not been poorly but she's had a bit of an upset stomach which I think could be down to teething. She's not complaining about it just yet but I have a feeling they are on their way as it's also given her nappy rash too. You can see her teeth through her gums on both the top and the bottom but they aren't anywhere near cutting through just yet. I hope we have a few more months as I'm not looking forward to breastfeeding a baby with teeth! Yowch! 


Feeding
As mentioned above, we are still breastfeeding and I'm loving every moment. I'm so glad we were able to breastfeed this time around despite by initial hopes and fears when it came to trying to breastfeed again. She's nursing a lot less now that she's on solids but she tends to still have around 8 feeds in 24 hours. Not only does she love milk but she's also a fabulous little eater. She now has three meals a day as well as cooled boiled water to drink whilst she eats. Her current favourite foods are; sweet potato, strawberries, tomatoes, pasta, porridge, carrot sticks crisps and biscotti but she'll pretty much eat anything you give her. She eats a mixture of mashed foods and finger foods, she's great!


Sleep
When it comes to naps she's so much better now and usually has two naps a day, sometimes three. It all depends on how long she has for each one. I try to always settle her upstairs rather than letting her fall asleep in my arms because the moment I put her down she'll wake. Night time, still not sleeping through but she's getting better as she does sleep longer stretches, the other night she did 6 hours! She still hates sleeping in her snuzpod and prefers to be in bed with me and I usually wake every morning with her in the nook of my arm.


Milestones and new tricks
* She seems much more aware of everything around her now and seems to pick up new things quite fast. For example she will put a hair bobble on her head, look at the tv when you hold a remote, put a sock on top of her foot, put a dummy in your mouth, feeds you her food, tries to untie laces, copies noises that you make, etc. 

* Dancing. Ava now dances and bobs up and down when she hears music. She gets so excited when she hears singing or music, especially if guitars are involved.
* She's more vocal. She's picked up lots of different sounds this month, a favourite being "ABABA BABA ABABA BABA!" She's said Mama and Dada a few times whilst babbling away but I'm not sure I can count it as a first word just yet, though if we can it was Mama that she said first! Just saying!
* Moving. She's not crawling but when you lay her on her belly she can shuffle backwards a little and has no problem turning her self around in circles. She's not really a fan of tummy time anymore though as she much prefers to be sitting up. It wouldn't surprise me if she crawled from the sitting position first rather than from her belly.
* Recognition. She understands so many words and names, she's so clever.

* Emotional. According to her latest leap she's able to display her emotions a lot more and is currently learning how to control them as she's getting older and I can certainly verify that! When she's not happy about something you can really see it in her face, she tries to be angry or will cry. On the flip side she's also being even more loving and is able to show affection more.
* She will put her head on you to give you a snuggle if you ask for a cuddle. It's the sweetest thing. 




Likes and dislikes
GUITARS, Mummy, Daddy and Noah. When Daddy plays guitar. Books. Animals, our cat and Nanny's dog's in particular. Music, singing and being sung to. Playing with Noah and his Imaginext figures. Bath time and splashing about. Being cuddled and held by Mummy, she'd be happy on my lap or arms all day and night. Her toy corner and little toys. Milk and food, she can't get enough. Peppa pig. Nursery rhyme youtube videos. Being in the baby carrier. Going for walks and seeing the tree's. Sleeping in Mummy's arms. Gingerbread. Playing peekaboo. She doesn't like having her nappy changed, being led on a changing mat, getting dressed, when I leave the room and being in the car. 



10/23/2017

Hatchimals Colleggtibles The Hatchery Nursery - Review



Hatchimals were the must have toy for Christmas last year, the UK went Hatchimal crazy and so many of my friends struggled to get their hands on one for the kids. Thankfully it wasn't on Noah's Christmas list so I didn't have that fight on my hands. The whole Hatchimal craze didn't really interest him. That was until the Hatchimal Colleggtibles came onto the scene!

Noah is a big collector and his favourite things to collect just happen to be little itty bitty toys that come in a blind bag or surprise egg and Hatchimals Colleggtibles tick many of those boxes. 


When we were offered the Hatchery Nursery to review I just had to take up the offer and was very excited for it's arrival, it looked great. On opening we both commented on how bright and attractive it looked. It's also very well made and sturdy which is always something I look out for with a play set as Noah can be quite heavy handed. It's also worth noting that this toy doesn't require any assembly or batteries, can you give me a hallelujah! 


The Hatchery Nursery is an enchanted forest which makes the perfect place for children to hatch and take care of all their cute Colleggtibles! The first task upon opening was to hatch the exclusive egg which is included in the set and Noah insisted on doing it right away! Usually with Colleggtibles you rub the heart to hatch the egg but with the help of the Hatching Tree which is nestled in the heart of the enchanted forest none of that is necessary


To hatch the egg we placed it in the middle of the flower that's inside the Hatching Tree, then we span the yellow handle and the flower carried the egg up to the top of the trunk! Once at the top of the tree the purple petals opened up and the egg was all cracked ready for hatching! We then peeled off the remaining shell and our brand new Colleggtible was born and what a cutie he is!


There's a whopping 35 places to play and display all your Hatchimal Colleggtibles! They can swing off tree hooks, be fed at the feeding station, sleep in the cribs or relax underneath the streamer shower. There's slides and swings too for those Colleggtibles that would like to play!

It's a shame that with so many places to display your Colleggtibles that there's only one which comes with the set. It would be better to have a couple more included as it really limits play if you've not got a collection already, just one lonely Hatchimal Colleggtible.


The Hatchery Nursery would make a great Christmas present this year, for Colleggtibles collectors new and old. It's suitable from 5+ years and retails at most leading toy stores for £29.99.

- We were sent this product for the purpose of this review however all opinions are my own.