My First Thomas & Friends Rail Rollers Spiral Station - Review

Last week we received the My First Thomas & Friends Rail Rollers Spiral Station toy to review. With Noah being such an avid fan of Thomas I knew before it even arrived that it would go down a treat with him. I was right because as soon as he saw the box his face lit up and he shouted "chooo chooooo!"

It does need to be assembled and it did take me a little longer than it should but that's because I'm useless when it comes to instructions. Although the toy is made of plastic once it's all set up it's very strudy and has passed the rough and tumble toddler test with flying colours.

This toy is aimed at 12+ months and is great for encouraging hand-eye coordination and is a lot of fun too. It comes with two train balls (Thomas and Spencer - more can be bought separately) which not only can be rolled down the colourful tracks but can also be spun around the Fat Controller and lifted to the top again with the little lift too.

"Start your winding journey from the Thomas & Friends spiral station! Ascend the engine lift, set off from Tidmouth sheds and then race down the rails to the bottom. When you reach the end, spin the roundabout to get your rolling engine into the lift and start your spinning journey once more."

As you can see by the photo's Noah has had an absolute blast playing with the Rail Rollers Spiral Station. At first, I thought it may be a little too young for Noah to play with being 22 months old but I was wrong. It makes a great toddler toy because there are so many elements that grow with your child.

Noah has had countless hours of fun with it already and his favourite part is probably the lift. He loves to transport the balls up and down and once they are running down the track he shouts "choo choooo!" 

At £32.99 I think it's great value for money. I can see it being a big hit with the parents come Christmas time and it would of been on Noah's Christmas list, that's for sure! 

- I was sent this product for the purpose of this review. However, all opinions are my own.

Mummy & Me - September

We are now at the end of September. We've waved goodbye to Summer and are welcoming Autumn with open arms. How fast has this year gone?

For the last few months I've been complaining that Noah will never smile in a selfie or when we are trying to pose together. Well this time I asked him to smile and I got this face! His cheeky gremlin face, ha ha! He is such a character, love him so much! 

Nicola... Life Through My Eyes

My Top 5 Holiday Photo's

Well we are now officially in autumn! Bye bye summer, it was nice knowing you. You know when you decided to make an appearance those couple of days. Maybe next year you can hang about a little longer? That would be great!

Anyway, less of that. With the colder and darker evenings approaching and after seeing this fantastic blog post I thought I would post a little something to perk me up! Here are my top 5 holiday photo's!

Alcudia beach-
This is my all time favourite holiday photo and possibly one of my favourite photo's in general too. I shot this around 6 years ago now while Nick and I were on a 7 day holiday in Majorca. This is one of the many little piers that go out into the Mediterranean sea. You can always find tourists taking photo's and admiring the views from them and the locals tend to use them to catch fish and sell to local restaurants.

Sailing in the Med-
Another shot from another holiday to Majorca. We were on a boat ride in the Mediterranean sea. It was a scorcher of a day but it was so serene sailing on the crystal clear blue water. You would think this was a photo from the Caribbean if I hadn't told you otherwise!

Benitses Road Tip-
This photo feels like a lifetime ago and was taken roughly 10 years ago now. I went to Corfu and we took a road trip across the island in the blistering heat. We were situated in a small fishing village called Benitses and it was such a quaint little place. Very traditional, peaceful and very rural.

A room with a view-
This is another photo from my trip to Corfu. We had arrived in the night and it had been pitch black. Our hotel was located on a hill and we couldn't really see anything when we got there. When I awoke the next morning I opened the shutters on the balcony to see this view and I remember to this day that I was just speechless. It was one of those moments when a view just takes your breath away.

Arial view of Benitses
Wow, right? This photograph looks like it could be a post card. I remember sitting up on those hills after our ride around the island and feeling so humbled looking down at that view.

Looking back at these photo's has me so excited for our holiday next May. It will be the first time we have taken Noah abroad and it's such a huge milestone. Wish us luck!

Project 365 - Week 39 - 39/52

20th September - 26th September / Week 39

Sunday saw us setting off for a three day adventure in the Lake District. I had won £300 Late Rooms voucher a few weeks ago so decided to book a little break for the three of us. We were all very excited!

Monday was our first full day in Keswick. We jammed as much into our day as possible. We visited the Beatrix Potter attraction, went on a boat ride across Lake Windermere, went out for lunch and dinner and explored through the quaint villages. I could easily live in the Lakes, everything is so beautiful.

Tuesday the weather was glorious so we decided to go to South Lakes Zoo for the day. I feel a little conflicted about Zoo's as I can see the pro's and the con's of raising animals in captivity but I have to say I was so impressed with South Lakes. Most the animals roam free in very large enclosures and you can see that they are so well taken care of. It was such a beautiful place and the three of us enjoyed ourselves so much. Noah's favourite animals were the Gibbons which he thought were hilarious! 

One of my favourite things about the Lake District are the beautiful independent stores you see on every street. Here in Lancashire you don't see many like this and our high street is just full of pound shops, betting shops and closed down buildings, horrible really. This was Noah's favourite and as you can see he had his eyes on that wooden camper van! This was the day our holiday ended and we set off home in the morning.

Thursday we of course were back home and we had lots of sorting and washing to do. Thankfully this beautiful bouquet arrived to cheer me up a little! Review coming soon.

Friday we had a lazy morning as we were all so tired from our mini break. This Thomas toy came for Noah to review so he was pretty made up with that. In the evening Nick and I decided to have a date night so Noah stopped out at his Nanny's while we went out for a meal and to the cinema. It was a great night and we have to do it more often. 

Saturday, family day. We took a trip to the park and visited family.

What have you been up to this week?

Three Different Dining Rooms

When decorating your dining room, it’s first important to determine what it will be used for. Do you plan on using it daily or just for special occasions? Different styles will require different considerations, and how you want to use your room will dictate how you should furnish it. 

When you are furnishing a dining room for daily use, it’s important to consider all the angles. For this dining room you will need a table and chair set that is durable yet functional. Consider a French country style or shabby chic. Both of these interior designs allow room for error. Purchase a natural wooden table or a distressed table. With these pieces you won’t have to worry about varnish or stains, nicks and chips or matching chairs. This style will give you the freedom to mix and match. A white, distressed table and a mixture of chairs will do the trick. Place a large area rug underneath and you have yourself a lovely looking dining room for daily use. 

But what if you only want to use this space for special occasions such a birthdays and Christmas? This design will also need some functionality to it but a little less than the previous design. An antique French style dining table will give you the space you need to host large parties for special occasions but the elegance of a room that’s just for show. French style chairs that are covered in cream fabric will the perfect touch for this luxurious but functional dining room. 

A dining space that is just for show gives you the liberty to create any type of room that you wish while leaving out nothing. Go with the most expensive furnishings and light fixtures. Add beautiful window treatments and rugs. Display your finest china in a display cabinet and watch as it takes your breath away every time you pass it. This is a room of extravagance and your chance to create the space you’ve always dreamed of having. 

Before designing your space think about what works best for you and your family. Is this a space that you will want to use for breakfast and dinner? Or this is a space that will only be used for special occasions of Christmases and family get-togethers? Or would you prefer this room to be a “look, but don’t touch” space? Whatever you choose, find the furnishing that best suit your needs.

- This is a guest post

Ready, set…Goodies! For when toddlers need to snack!

The right snack at the right time is just what toddlers need. Dietitians agree that toddlers’ tummies aren't big enough to take on board enough energy and nutrients from just three meals a day, so little ones need two to three snacks in-between, to boost energy, to fuel their explorations, and for healthy growth and development.

Wherever your little one needs a snack, whether they are running around in the garden, on a long car journey or on the way home from a swimming lesson, Organix Goodies has a choice of foods to suit any occasion.
Dr Frankie Phillips, Nutrition Advisor to Organix, says: “Toddlers need the extra nutrients healthy snacking can provide. Of course what's not healthy is snacking, or grazing, so much that your child is never hungry at mealtimes. But the right snack at the right time is often just what they need. And remember some treats can be tasty snacks but not all snacks should be treat foods!

“It’s all about good healthy snacking. Variety, a mix of sweet and savoury flavours and a balance of different foods are all important. So offer your little one lots of shapes, tastes and textures to help expand the repertoire of foods they eat, and this will also help ensure they’re getting a wider range of nutrients. Longer term you’ll also find benefits as your child will be more willing to try new foods, so you’ll be helping to develop their love of good food.”

7 reasons why toddlers need to snack
* Eating little and often is ideal as little tummies only hold small amounts
* Tops up little ones’ intake of nutrients, to meet their daily needs
* Provides essential calories to meet toddlers’ energy needs
* Adds variety to the diet with different tastes and textures
* Gives opportunities to try new foods either at home or out and about
* Keeps your little one going in between meals
* Helps teach healthy food habits

Signs your little one needs a snack?
If your little one doesn’t tell you they’re hungry, the chances are there will be a few other tell-tale signs to let you know he or she needs a snack.

Perhaps your toddler is a little tired, a little bit cranky, a little clingy, or you can see the start of a tantrum brewing? It probably means they’re ‘hangry’, that’s grumpy, hungry and in need food - and it’s real! So time for a snack – Ready, set…Goodies!

Ready Set Goodies!
It can be a challenge to ensure your little one is snacking healthily. The enormous range of Organix Goodies provides convenient, junk-free snacks whatever the occasion, whether eating at home or out and about, or in need of something for a lunchbox or party bag. They come in a variety of fun shapes and delicious flavours and textures, wrapped up in bright and colourful packs with activities to encourage play.

Busy little explorers will love Goodies soft oaty bars and the new mini oaty bites – packed full of juicy raisins and wholegrain oats, they will keep your active little one happy on the go. If you need to keep them going in between meals, Goodies savoury corn puffs are perfect for hungry explorers, and playful explorers will love the variety of textures and sweet and savoury tastes in Goodies biscuits and fruit snacks.

Mums and dads will love that all Goodies snacks come with the Organix No Junk Promise – a commitment to never adding anything unnecessary or artificial and parents can check as the labelling on our foods is always clear, open and honest. Speaking of parents, we often need a healthy, pick me up in the morning. Have you heard of MCT Wellness? One scoop contains ketone-boosting super fuel that'll make you feel great all day long. Its key ingredient is MCT oil which can support your body’s natural ketone production. Typically the body uses glucose for fuel, but when ketones are present (due to a supplement like MCT Wellness or the liver breaking down large amounts of fat), the body burns ketones instead. This process is called ketosis and has been linked to supported brain health, weight loss, and physical endurance.

Project 365 - Week 38 - 38/52

13th September - 19th September / Week 38


In memory of a lost friend. I hope you've found peace now Andy.

Tuesday, wooden toy day! Here is Noah playing with his fab train set from IKEA.

Well isn't Noah a lucky boy?! Here is a huge collection of Bing books that I won for him over on twitter. I have put most of them away for Christmas but I did let him have the activity books early.

Here is Noah emulating his Daddy. How chuffed does he look with that guitar in his hands? I think he's going to be following in Nick's footsteps, that's for sure. The weather was absolutely gorgeous on Wednesday. Noah and I spent most the afternoon sunning ourselves in the front garden, safely of course! 

On Thursday Noah and I went out for lunch with my Dad and visited my Nanna too. We then popped round to my Mum's for a couple of hours. We went to the park and I stopped by a charity shop on the way there and boy wasn't I glad. Check out this tresure trove of books! 5 books for just £1! I managed to find Each Peach Pear Plum in there, such a classic.

Friday wasn't a very exciting day as I was finishing off lot's of jobs before our mini break away this Sunday. I did receive some lovely mail though. This book from Little Tiger Press is absolutely lovely, a new favourite! 

Today on Saturday we had a family outing with Noah's cousin and auntie. We had a picnic, went to the park, went shopping and had ice cream too. Such a lovely day. The boys had fun and the sun was shining too. Bliss.

Taking a Road Trip

We all have them. Those dreams on our bucket list that we one day want to tick off. Dreams that are just that, a dream. But a dream that one day we want to make reality.

For me on the top of my bucket list has always been to travel the world. To book long term van hire and travel from country to country. Going with the flow and taking each day as it comes. Experiencing all the different cultures, languages, food, views, landmarks. It would be life changing, it really would. Now that I am a mother this dream seems almost impossible so I've narrowed it down a little. 

I've been obsessed with America for as long as I can remember. I love everything about the USA. The culture, their values, their accent, the food, the TV shows, everything! Even their flag rocks! So it's no surprise that I would absolutely love to take a road trip through Route 66 one day.

Route 66 is infamous. The route travels through eight different states, from East to West. Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California. It's estimated to be 2,400 miles long. 

Sometimes I find myself daydreaming about this dream. I can picture Nick and I taking this trip once we have both retired and the kids have flown the next, if not sooner. It's a great feeling to look forward and dream about something in our future.

Do you dream of going travelling? 

The Next Stage in our Renovation Plans

One of the main topics I've been writing about this past year has of course been our renovation. We bought our first home last May and to say it was a work in progress is one huge understatement. We knew it needed a lot of work but we didn't realise how much until we had bought the house and started the work. This is normal of course because once you start pulling off the wallpaper and tearing up the carpet that is when all the hidden jobs start rearing their ugly heads.

A year later and the renovation is complete. A new kitchen, a new bathroom, central heating system, new boiler, full electrical rewire, new ceilings, plastering, new carpets, every room newly decorated.. those are just some of the jobs that we accomplished in that first year. 

When I think about how long it all took and how much blood, sweat and tears went into it I wonder why I'm even thinking of saying this but we are now drawing up plans for phase two.

Phase two will start with us converting the attic and we want to do this for various reasons. The first and main reason is that it could give us one more large bedroom and a storage room or even two bedrooms. This of course is needed if we want to have more children in the future. Another reason is that it will increase the value of our house tremendously and if we want to sell up any time soon we could earn a lot of profit too. Once this is completed we will need to look into updating our home insurance policy and must remember to do so.

When the main frame work has been finished we will be looking at dormer windows and will need to invest in some electric radiators as attics are known to be a little draughty. 

I'm really looking forward to decorating the attic room once the building work has been completed. I picture a light and bright but welcoming space for two children to share. This thought of course is very dear to me as I know how much Noah would love to have a sibling in the future. I can just imagine two boys rough housing in there or Noah and a sister squabbling over what game to play next. 

Although the next stage of our renovation is only just being drawn up I'm already making plans for stage three! I realise I do sound a little crazy planning so far ahead but this is our forever home, the home where we are going to raise our children. It's got to be perfect. 

5 tips to follow when booking a holiday

A few weeks ago we finally booked our first family holiday after months and months of deliberation. Everything was up in the air when it came to us attempting to make plans but we finally sat down and decided on our perfect holiday.

1. Choosing a destination.
Of course this is the most important factor when it comes to booking your holiday. With so many wonderful destinations and places to visit it can feel a little overwhelming when it comes to making a decision but there are ways to simplify it. We made a list of places we wanted to visit and then we wrote the pro's and con's such as flight times, cost, the weather. For us we knew we wanted to go back to Majorca as we know it's ideal for toddlers. The flight is short, it's not too hot, the sea is shallow and clear, the sand on the beaches is soft. Totally toddler friendly! 

2. Scout around.
Holidays abroad are so expensive these days so you really need to get the best price possible. I find that searching on different websites weeks before booking really pays off. Most websites will match prices of others too so that's always something to keep in mind when booking.

3. Check review websites.
Possibly my top tip would be to check review websites religiously before you book anything. You don't want to wait a year for your holiday, get a great deal and then get there and the hotel or location is awful. There are so many brilliant review websites out there and it's great to get an insight of the place before you book or arrive.

4. Book a year in advance.
Booking in advance not only gives you something to look forward to but it also gives you the time to save up the money that you need to take a long too. When we booked we actually only paid half. The monthly payments feel a lot easier on the wallet and are much more manageable too.

5. Use a Cashback website.
When booking online you have to use a cashback website, you would be daft not to! We booked through a leading travel agent online and by using Topcashback we earned £60 through our booking. This money we are going to withdraw and convert into Euro's for when we go abroad!

Are you booking a holiday soon? Do you have any tips that you would like to share?

Professor Scrubbingtons - Review & Competition

I'm always excited to try new products by new brands so when I was contacted by Professor Scrubbingtons I was looking forward to seeing what they were all about. In case you didn't know or can't tell by the name the Professor Scrubbingtons is a range of toiletries aimed at children.

We were sent the full range to review and they arrived in a fantastic cardboard suitcase that was almost to fab to throw away!

The range includes; Magically Foaming Hand & Face Wash, Magically Foaming Shampoo, Magically Foaming Conditioner, Magically Foaming Hair & Body Wash and Magically Fragrant Deodorant. You get the theme right?! I love it! It certainly adds a bit of fun and magic to bath time.

Magically Foaming Hand & Face Wash
Foam that is easy to use and apply with a wider pump which is easier for little hands. Natural ingredients with no parabens or SLS. This is such a handy product to keep at the sink! We've all been using it throughout the day and Noah has started asking for his hands to be washed just so he can use it! That's a win right there!

Magically Foaming Hair & Body Wash
Foam that stays on your hand and is easy to apply. The dispenser is easy to use and you can do it with just one hand. Made with natural ingredients, no SLS or Parabens. Lightly scented. 2 in 1 products like these are ideal when your toddler won't sit still in the bath.
Magically Foaming Shampoo
Proffesor Scrubbington's shampoo is easy to use, apply and is very gentle too. It doesn't dry out your child's hair and that is probably due to it containing only natural ingredients. It smells beautifully too.

Magically Foaming Conditioner 
Another product which is easy to use, apply and contains only natural ingredients. This conditioner is great for Noah as he has such coarse hair which needs a lot of TLC. It has helped keep his hair sleek, smooth and a lot more manageable.

Magically Fragrant Deodorant
Easy grip bottle, roll on application, natural ingredients with a fresh fragrance. Of course a deodorant is aimed at the older child but I think it's a great product to include in the range as you don't see many aimed specifically at the kids.

Prices for these products start at £5 and you can buy the complete range for £20. I think this is reasonable as Professor Scrubbington's is a little more luxurious than your bog standard kids lotions and potions. I would certainly buy again!

How would you like to win the complete range?! To enter all you need to do is use the rafflecopter form below. Don't forget to check out my other competitions too!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


1. 1 prize to 1 winner.
2. The prize sent directly from PR.
3. Competition ends 18/10/15
4. Incomplete entries with be disqualified.
5. UK entries only.