Friday, 29 July 2016

How to Spot A Witch! In celebration of Roald Dahl’s Tremendous Adventures at Tatton Park


"Visit Roald Dahl’s Tremendous Adventures at Tatton Park to find out!

As every Roald Dahl fan knows, real witches are all around us. They don’t wear black hats and fly around on broomsticks- they are much more difficult to spot…..unless you know the telltale signs. In celebration of its new How to Spot a Witch Manual installation- part of Roald Dahl’s Tremendous Adventures at Tatton Park- here’s the ultimate ‘Witch Spotting Checklist’ for all boys and girls.
                                                   
Witch Spotting Checklist
  • They always wear gloves. Witches don’t have normal fingernails, they have thin claws, like cats – which is why they wear gloves ALL THE TIME, even indoors.
  • They are bald as a boiled egg. But many choose to wear very realistic wigs – don’t be fooled!
  • They have large nose holes. Real witches have an amazing sense of smell due to their very large nose holes – they can smell a child from across the street. And the cleaner the child, the easier they are to smell.
  • Their eyes change colour. If you look carefully at a real witch’s eye, you will notice the pupil changes colour – it will send shivers down your spine.
  • They have no toes. Real witches have feet with square ends – but they try to hide this by squeezing their feet into pretty shoes. Watch out for them limping!
  • They have blue spit. Real witches have spit so blue they can even use it to write with it.

Created by props company Flyby Workshop, the installation is part of a number of activities situated around Tatton Park to celebrate 100 years since the beloved author’s birth. Visitors can step inside the interactive ‘book’ and explore various objects and artworks based around the witch-spotting theme.
                                   
Sarah Mills, Art Director of Altrincham-based Flyby Workshop, said: “We were over the moon when asked to create a prop for the gardens at Tatton.The Witches is one of my favourite Roald Dahl books and one of the things I remember is the thrilling sense of danger and dark humour. I remember the scene in which Grandma explains how you spot a witch – and this became the concept of the piece. We developed the idea of a giant book to enclose the idea of a walk-in art gallery, so we could transport and immerse children and adults in this very important lesson!”

In addition to How to Spot a Witch, a number of other activities are taking place at Tatton throughout the year – including trails around the Mansion and Gardens, based on books such as Matilda, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Danny The Champion of the World and more. For the Roald Dahl year Flyby have also created a giant Willy Wonka inspired chocolate bar, a huge chair inspired by The BFG and a chokey from Roald Dahl’s Matilda amongst other creations.

For more information about Roald Dahl’s Tremendous Adventures see www.tattonpark.org.uk/roalddahl".

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Battle with the weight: update 4

Since our holiday I just can't pull myself together! It feels so hard to carry on without any motivation, I know I need to do it for myself, for my husband as I want to look better, I want to fit in the cute, sexy outfits, I don't want to feel fat and awful when seeing pretty, fit girls. 

In moments like this I think about quick fix, about tablets and milkshakes for losing weight, everything I wouldn't consider normally.

I have opted for a low calorie salad in a shop today and hoping that today or tomorrow I will force myself to go on a treadmill.

Wish me luck! :-) 

Monday, 25 July 2016

What Little L wore: Rockin' Baby SS16 Kids clothing collection

Couple of weeks ago we were sent Rockin' Baby t-shirt from the new SS16 collection. I had a little browse online and fell in love with some pieces, definitely a "head- turner" collection.

"Rockin' Baby was founded in 2002 to provide slings to mothers around the world. We now offer stylish slings and childrenswear, with a philanthropic mission of one-for-one. You buy, we give.

In partnership with ChildFun International for every piece of clothing sold from the Rockin' Baby S/S16 collection, an item from their 'Hero' collection will be gifted to a child in need from 30 countries including West Africa, providing vital clothing for children".

Florence Stripe Bunting Applique Tee which we received arrived in size 2-3 (reduced to £9.60 from £16), just perfect for the lovely, warm summer days we have. 
It looks slightly different from the pictures used on the website, stripes are navy and white and the bunting print has been created with different neutral coloured fabric and textures including lovely embroidery work. 
Due to it's colours it can be suitable for both boys or girls age 18 months to 10 years old.


This lovely stripey t-shirt is made from 100% cotton and is machine washable and can be tumble dried as well.


As you may see from pictures L is petite toddler, at almost 25 months this tee in size 2-3 years looks a little too big for her, but may look perfect on a different child. 

Disclaimer: I was sent the above item for the purpose of this review. All thought and opinions are my own.

Friday, 22 July 2016

BABY born® Deluxe Bathtime Set and Interactive Potty giveaway


I have an exciting giveaway for a little person who shows interest in doll and playing imaginative games.
First one up is a cute BABY born® Deluxe Bathtime Set.

                                          
"It doesn't matter whether the two of you plan to take an overnight trip together or your little one is spending her first night alone at her grandparents' – this small, delicate travel care set provides practical and beautiful accessories that BABY born® can't do without while away from home. The set includes a pair of overalls made from a cuddly terry towelling material with a very cute hood and a fun bunny print, a bunny-shaped wash glove and BABY born®'s favourite soap. With all her gear, your little girl is guaranteed to feel content even in an unfamiliar environment!

Included in the set: 1 pair of overalls, 1 wash glove, 1 piece of soap (all plastic/play versions)".


Second prize is BABY born® Interactive Potty which could be very useful and helpful for those kids starting potty training.

                                  
“Every potty finds...” its BABY born®. It's a lot easier to say goodbye to nappies when you're encouraged by this sweet little duck head. Afun song starts playing as soon as you put BABY born® on the potty. Once she has done a “number one or two”, you will hear the potty applaud. And in case something does end up where it shouldn't, don't worry: the white seat of the potty can be removed and easily cleaned with a damp cloth. Use the stickers to give the potty your own individual design".


Would you like to win these cute items? If so, complete the Rafflecopter form below: 
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Good luck!

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Ipad/Tablets app to promote early language development

As L is a bilingual toddler I always worry about her speech development, I can only imagine that some other mums maybe worrying about similar things.
Here is a list of recommended tablet pc apps recommended by Health Visitors*:

"My First Words- select the words you want to work on and change the setting for whether you want to label the picture for expressive language or select from 2/3/4 pictures for receptive language. You can also add your own photos/pictures.

Eli Explorer- simple game for sharing and commenting. Make Eli the rabbit fly around his world, discuss different things and noises happen. Children will enjoy the repetition of similar phrases.

My Play Home- highly interactive, includes all the rooms in a house with its family members. Useful for moving familiar objects around, modeling words and following basic instructions.

Interactive stories e.g. Goldilocks, Toy Story, Little Red Hen etc

Toddler Touch and Say (Ladybird)- interactive pictures of vehicles, animals, at home and toys.

SoundTouch- nice early vocabulary app for different categories (animals, transport, musical instruments), child touches the word and then a picture and real life sound comes up. Good for single word comprehension and expressive language. Very popular with younger children.

Verbs with Milo- Milo makes up the verbs and names them as a word or in a sentence.

Tiny Farm/Tiny Airport/ Firefighters and Police- great for developing vocabulary- sharing/commenting.

Seek and Find games: Animal Circus, My Little Town

Splingo- help the alien get home by following the directions (from single words up to 4 key words)

Magic Voice- use your voice to activate the rabbit

Words- choose words and then it says linked actions e.g. baby- fall, crawl, walk; name things- gets you to name things in categories, e.g. things you see at the zoo".

Some of them sound very intriguing, I might see if there is an alternative in Russian for L and keep those for when L prepares to start school. 

Monday, 18 July 2016

Review: In The Night Garden Live show 2016

Round and round 'again' we went on this truly superb show!

As you may already know, we are now veterans of In The Night Garden shows, this is a second time of visiting the great show at Canon Hill Park in Birmingham.

We were welcomed by warm enthusiastic staff members who seemed very approachable.. a good start :)

All of the previous d├ęcor greets you as you enter the wonderful dome as well as food/drink is available at all times.

There are cabins which house the toilet and changing facilities and there is a parking bay for pushchairs. However, we decided on having L free to roam this year, no baby carrier or pushchair, but instead just a harness (as she can walk after all).
We were given a free program prior to entering the stage by yet another enthusiastic staff member (I did clock £7 on the front page of the program), so a very nice freebie!

Arriving prior to the show was/is paramount for us, as L can get a bit fussy with waiting for things to begin and end, so the fact that we went straight through and the show started 5-10 minutes after sitting down was ideal.


                          
As per the previous years the green seating is meant to portray a grassy affect, as if you were sitting on the grass with Iggle Piggle & friends.

Seating is on a first come first serve basis (apart from the very front seating, which is reserved as Premium).

The show is very much the same as the previous year and consists of 'helpers', who mainly work the puppet versions of the characters.

There is also life like dressed characters, which gives off a true feeling of being part of the In The Night garden show.

                       
Iggle Piggle was the first to arrive (after a projected version of the recognised 'round and round we go' on a child's palm. Iggle Piggle appeared on the stage to a rapturous applause from the kids and adults, the noise from the crowd was of surprise and delight.

The crowd were then treated to the 'Iggle Piggle' entry tune (Yes my name is Iggle Piggle.. you know how it goes). With all the kids and parents singing along with the song.

It helped that L has been brought up with In The Night Garden, as she had a better understanding of the show this year. The story was of Iggle Piggle losing his blanket (which he carries with him in his hand), thankfully  it was eventually found.

                         

Similarly to Iggle Piggle, other characters were greeted in similar fashion, with a loud cheer and sing along.

                        
L seemed to really engage with the show this year, mainly because she is a year older and has a better understanding of what is going on during the show (she is a like a sponge at the moment- taking everything in).

The live show lasts approx 52 minutes and guarantees enjoyment for all the family. I was quite surprised to see that L was getting restless and distracted towards the end of the show as I honestly thought she would last longer, perhaps it is an age thing..

The confetti ending this year was a little disappointing, not only did one half of the audience get the whole lot, but it seemed very sudden and not coherent with the show, a sort of flat ending to an otherwise excellently presented show.

After the show you can meet the characters for £15 which covers up to 5 people (maximum of 3 children) and souvenir book and photo from the session or you can spoil your little one with In the Night Garden themed toys and clothes sold from one of the stalls.

Once we departed the dome, we opted to take a short stroll around Canon Hill park, who could blame us as it was a truly glorious day (weather and show)!



Disclaimer: We were offered 3 complimentary tickets for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Friday, 15 July 2016

KidloLand app giveaway (5 winner for 3 month subscriptions)


Ladies and gents, may I present you an interactive and educational app for preschoolers.

"KidloLand is a popular toddler app with 500+ nursery rhymes, songs, activities, games for Kids (0-5 yrs). It has thousands of interactive surprises with funny animations and sounds which is surely a delight for little kids. Plus, it is an AD free app. The best part about KidloLand is, you can download songs and use the app offline while going on long journeys by road trips, flights or at doctor waiting rooms or even to keep your kids engaged at home. KidloLand has also won the Spring 2016 Academics' Choice Smart Media Award in May".

You can download KidloLand from here:

Nursery Rhymes For Kids (Google Play Store)
KidloLand (iOS)
KidloLand (Amazon Appstore)

Why children and parents love KidloLand?


1) There are over 95 favorite rhymes like Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Mary had a little Lamb, Old MacDonald, Itsy Bitsy Spider, Wheels on the Bus, If You Are Happy, London Bridge, BINGO, etc.

2) 190+ fun & original children songs to teach ABCs, Phonics, Numbers, fruits, vehicles, animals, vegetables, animal sounds, birds, months of the year, days of the week, lullabies, Christmas songs, etc.

3) 200+ fun educational activities and 7 toddler and baby games.

4) Unlike videos and shows which one can only watch, in this app your kid can interact with the characters and things on screen.

5) There is a playlist feature to play any 25 songs one after another uninterrupted.

6) It is certified safe for kids by the KidSAFE program. 

7) New content is available for download every month so that you never run out of new options to treat your babies with.

8) It lets your toddler sing along with exciting music".

I have 3 month subscriptions for KidloLand app to give away to five lucky families. All you have to do is fill out the Rafflecopter form below (the competition ends on 31 July12am):

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Good luck!

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Learning colours with toddler- yellow

Little L is like a little sponge and I have decided to take advantage of it and introduce small sessions where we will be discussing and learning about colours.

At first I wanted to learn about each individual colour for a week as thought that 2 or 3 days may not be enough but opted for 5 days in the end. 



Our 1st session was flower/plant themed. I have picked different yellow flowers from our garden and placed few in the vase and on L's table so that she can see, touch and do whatever she wants with them.



Session number 2 was a sensory orientated play with yellow rice. The day before I have prepared an empty soup pot and yellow food colouring (you can buy it from Home Bargains for less than 50p). Mixed them both together and left to dry on a kitchen towel overnight. 
On the actual day I have prepared a tin tray with some play kitchen utensils and let L play with it whilst explaining to her that she plays with yellow rice.

On day number 3 we had a little session with shaving foam. It was L's first time playing with it and I was very interested to see what she would do. I have sprayed a little bit of foam into the tin tray and added come yellow food colouring and let L play until she decided to taste it.
Not the safest of options but a very interesting one, as I watched L play with the yellow foam I have seen L working on her pincer grasp (trying to pick the foam up as if it was something hard), trying to stretch the foam, clap her hands with it and generally investigation and learning about a different texture which at first seemed hard for her.

Day 4, this time I wanted us to do something crafty and came with an idea of making our own yellow sun. 



The night before I have prepared a small disposable plate, A4 sheet of paper and some finger and acrylic paint in yellow, mixed them all up as I didn't have enough of one type and painted the plate and sheet of paper in yellow, left it to dry overnight. Once the A4 paper was dry I cut it into small pieces to use for the sun rays.

On the day I have showed L the plate and my little sun rays, talked to her that it is yellow and we are going to make our own sun by using glue and attaching yellow paper strips onto the yellow plate.

As the sun creation took just few minutes I thought that it would be lovely to add some life into it and to draw a face- eyes, mouth, nose and blush. We have used crayons but you can use a pen or pencils, what suits you best. 

On day 5 I have used coloured dough, which is very easy to do. To make do I have used flour, water and yellow food colouring, mixed them together. 
I think it was one of the successful days, L played with it for ages and ages and enjoyed throwing it, rolling it in hands and reaping apart.

Upon reflection, we have had a little progress with yellow colour, L repeats the word and knows what it means. As I have never said the word "colour", just pointing at colours, it takes time for L to understand when I ask her"What's the colour of?", but I guess it is just another word to learn and understand.

If this is something you would like to try with your little one, you can of course mix and match the sessions and introduce educational sheets for each individual colour or specific colours you think that your little one need to know, prepare a yellow themed  treasure box with different yellow coloured items I'm sure you can all find something in the house, I certainly found lots.

The next colour themed session would be either green or red orientated as these are the colours L seems to mix up sometimes. I might use rice and dough again as it was a big hit and will try treasure box and colour themed educational sheets.

Monday, 11 July 2016

Review: Toddlebike 2, pre- balance bike

I have seen pre-balance and balance bikes before but was always hesitant as thought that the price is a little bit high and that L might be too small for it until I came across all terrain Toddlebike. It was first mentioned to me by one of the mums I have met online who bought a relatively cheap birthday present for her daughter's 2nd birthday.

Toddlebike 2 seems to be at a reasonable price indeed £23.95, comes in 3 colours- red, blue and pink and suitable from 18 months to 36 months.

"Toddlebike – a unique “Pre-Balance” bike suitable for Toddlers as soon as they can confidently walk (usually around 18 months)".

I have never ridden a bike myself, not that I was particularly interested in it but always hoped that L could.
From what I understand the principal of using Toddlebike 2 is very simple: you sit on it, push, swivel handlebars and ride. Upon reflection it's not as easy as you think, it takes time and practice, which for some could be weeks and for others months.
                                 
What really surprised, is how lightweight Toddlebike 2 is, it weighs 0.8kg which is very convenient when you are carrying it for your child if s/he want to go for a ride after nursery or when your little one had enough of it and your are far away from car or home.
                                        
For the first few days ( just before our holiday) L spent most of her time on it, riding it, bringing it into our living room or showing Toddlebike off to her grandparents. I have noticed that at first L preferred to sit on the actual bar rather than on a seat but soon moved to the designated spot.

Once we were back from the break we took Toddlebike in the garden just to see how it "behaves" on a different terrain and to explain to L that it can be used inside and outside as well. She seems a little uncertain about it when we are outside due to either not seeing many kids with toys like that or not used to doing something else apart from waking and being pushed in a stroller, but I'm sure we will get there.

L is taking her time with Toddlebike but I hope one day she will be more confident and fast.  

Disclaimer: I was sent the item mentioned above for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Friday, 8 July 2016

Num Noms bundle giveaway (deluxe pack, starter pack and 2 Mystery pots)

"Earlier this year Num Noms caused frenzy with the introduction of the delicious, stackable and totally wacky collectables. After selling out across the globe the Num Noms are back with even more tasty flavours!

Fans of Num Noms can now add to their collections with savory flavours inspired by brunch dishes, such as Becca Bacon, delicious pizza flavours including Mozza Rella, sophisticated sushi snacks and yummy dinner foods. Plus, there are even more tasty sweet flavours inspired by fairground foods, freezie pops cupcakes and ice creams!

Uniquely scented, each Num and Nom character is full of surprises. Nums are the outer, soft squishy, hollow characters that nestle on top of Noms, which are either fun scented stamps, motorized, lovely lip glosses or a funky eraser.

With over 5,000 mix and match combinations, children can play chef and create wacky combos. How about a blueberry, banana, pancake- yum! Or some Wasabi ice cream- yuck!

Num Nom Mystery Blinds Packs, SRP £2.99 


What flavour will you get? Includes a Num and a surprised flavoured lip-gloss or stamps, in a super cool yoghurt styled mystery pot.

Num Noms Starter Packs, SRP £8.99

Each starter pack includes three Nums and one motorised Nom, plus a container, accessory, and collector’s menu.





Num Noms Deluxe Packs, SRP £14.99 


A Num Noms Deluxe Pack includes six Nums, two motorised
Noms plus a food container, accessory, and collector’s menu.
In addition there’s a mystery Num in each pack!




Num Noms Lip Gloss Truck Playset, SRP£24.99

Featuring a special edition Num Nom, the Lip Gloss Truck has everything you need to set up your own Num Nom lip gloss maker. Includes truck playset, lip gloss ingredients, mixing accessories, one scented Num, three lip gloss container Noms, and one
collector’s menu.



Num Noms Art Cart Playset, SRP £24.99


Featuring a special edition Num Nom, the Art Cart Truck has everything you need to set up your own creative space. Includes cart playset, ruler/ stencil, scented ink pad, scented stamper Nom, scented pencil and eraser Nom, and three scented eraser Noms.



Num Noms Series 2 is for children aged 3+ and will be available at all good toy retailers from July 2016. For more information, visit Num Noms website.

Fancy winning Num Noms bundle including deluxe pack, starter pack and 2 Mystery pots?  All you have to do is fill out the Rafflecopter form below (the competition ends on 29 July 12am):
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Good luck!

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Little L is 24 months old

Since our family break in Moscow L has changed so much. She has learned more Russian words, spent some lovely time with her cousins and grandma. 
L managed to catch a cold so we have asked a doctor to come and see us there and found out that L has carotene jaundice as we give her pouches with carrots few times a week, we were advise to cut down on that, have also been advised that L needs to wear orthopedic shoes and that her lack of eating is affected by "snacking" on breast milk.
Apart from that L has been very active, chatty, in fact she wouldn't let go of the phone once she was given one and would carry on chatting to someone for ages.

Clothing and shoes wise, L fits some of her 18-24 and 2-3 outfits and is still in infant size 5 shoes.

I am very happy how her Russian is coming along, I was a little bit worried that she will be slower in her development but I think she ticks most of the boxes. I do hate it though when L learns/says another English word but we can't avoid it.

Sleeping hasn't changed, I do hope that once we move L to her own room she might get used to sleeping properly without me. I'm trying to make some changes with her breastfeeding i.e. cut down on it, potty training but it seems to be a very long process.

By the amount of bruises on her fingers and sucking on rubber toys I assume we had some teething issues, but as I have mentioned on one of my posts it is so hard to guess as she is unhappy more often that I would have liked.

Now to positives, L loves singing and now she sings in tune with songs from cartoons or phone ringtones, amazing!
L likes to boogie, that bum twerking is just something! She is seems more confident and independent at times.

The funniest moment of last week-my sister and her partner came to see us (L likes her uncle so much), when he was about to get in the car she called him "darling, darling", so sweet and funny!

Monday, 4 July 2016

Review: Peppa Pig’s Surprise show at Palace Theatre, Redditch


Until recently L didn't own much of Peppa Pig's toys, but as it was L's birthday, she was showered with gifts, but her favourite so far is her new wooden kitchen and a plastic house with Peppa Pig's tv show characters. 
Just imagine how happy she was when I told L that we are going to see Peppa Pig's Surprise, she wasn't the only one, we saw lots of parents carrying or pushing their excited little ones to watch the show. For those who had pushchairs Palace Theatres' staff offered to store the pushchair safely and once the show was over brought them back just by the small stall selling Peppa Pig's merchandise.

We arrived at the venue just few minutes before the start as I wanted to make sure that L is happy but not bored. She refused to sit on her own seat and most of the show was on my lap for comfort and a  better view which in all honest most of the parents did too.

The show started with an introduction of a new human character Daisy- who was a fun and enthusiastic girl with 2 pony tales and funky dungarees. Daisy, Danny Dog, Suzy Sheep and Pedro Pony (performers with moving puppets) played an interactive, panto style game of hide and seek as they were looking for their friends Peppa and George. When all friends were re-united Daddy Pig and Mummy Pig announced that they are taking Peppa and George on a surprise adventure. How exciting!
In the next seen we watched Peppa, George and their friends splashing in muddy puddles, dreaming about the surprise and singing The Bing Bong Song, the audience didn't hesitate to join. For those who didn't know the word Daisy has kindly brought a sign with lyrics to the song.

Tip: almost forgot to mention, do bring a waterproof cover as if you are sitting in the stalls you have a big chance of getting wet!

As it was getting close to bedtime Peppa and George needed a bath, oh boy they had so much fun, so did we! Daisy was blowing big bubbles into the audience, which was a massive hit, L was so excited and wanted to be one of the lucky "poppers".

The final scene of the first act took us to Peppa and George's bedroom where Daisy decided to read them a bedtime story about a monkey and suddenly the red monkey became real..

The second part of the show is all about the surprise trip to the seaside, where Peppa and George met their friends and had lots of fun playing and building sand castles, visiting rock pool and meeting different sea creatures, oh and almost forgot about Daddy Pig who was snoring away in a shade. 

In the very last scene once all beach equipment was packed and everyone were ready to go home we met Mr. Potato who made some delicious smoothies.

The show itself lasts about an 1 hour and 20 minutes with a 15-20 minute interval for those who needs a snack or toilet. I was a little bit surprised when the break was announced, as kids of different ages react to break in a different way some would stay calm other would lose interest in what's going on. L handled break very well and tried her best to stay active until the end but wasn't as interested in the show as she was during the first act. 


The price of tickets vary depending on the venue and seats chosen, please visit the website to see dates available.


Disclaimer: We were offered complimentary tickets for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Friday, 1 July 2016

New ERiiS SUN Triple Protection Sun Filter protecting against UVA, UVB and Infrared-A

"The new ERiiS Sun range from Italy’s Iridiem Pharma offers triple protection sun care against UVA, UVB and Infrared-A, with its highest 50+ SPF providing a UVA-UVB ratio of 82.95%.

Active ingredients include Carrot Fresh Cells Extract to hydrate skin and give an intense, even tan, as well as a vitamin complex providing vitamins A, C and E for their antioxidant properties. The complex helps to protect and regenerate skin stressed by sun exposure and limit the risk of erythema (skin redness) and abnormal pigmentation.

                                 
ERiiS Sun contains Iridixina-S, an innovative complex of sun protective filters for triple UVA, UVB and Infrared-A protection. It actively targets free radicals generated by exposure to sun and helps prevent damage to skin cells, including the formation of solar scars, and protect against premature ageing and the appearance of wrinkles, age-spots and loss of skin elasticity.

ERiiS Sun, unlike many on the market has an extra gentle formulation, is paraben and allergen-free, and due to its light oil-free consistency is rapidly absorbed into the skin once applied.

Presented in a high quality pump bottle, ERiiS Sun costs from £14.95 and is available from www.vie-healthcare.com".