Monday, 31 October 2016

Halloween with Gel-a-Peel #Geloween

This Halloween is a little bit more special to us as L celebrates it at the nursery for the 1st time. Last year we were lucky enough to spot cute spider outfit set with tutu skirt, alice band and a wand, but as it's quite a "dark" set I wanted to add a little bit more fun and colour to it by using Gel-a-Peel Neon Creation Kit (£14.99).

"Create your own jewelry with Gel-a-Peel! Use colored gel tubes and design templates to make necklaces, bracelets, earrings, rings, headbands and more!"

The set comes with 16 design templates, 3 neon gel tubes, 5 nozzles and accessory hardware.

It's hard to say who was more excited to try out Gel-a-Peel but save to say that L and had lots of fun experimenting (mainly me of course). 

First of all, few things to remember, do not leave your child with Gel-a-Peel without supervision (the kit is suitable for 8 years+), the gel tubes can be easily opened and end up on clothes, skin, carpet the list goes on. If the accident does happen I would suggest to leave it to dry and scrape the remains after, otherwise you may end up with very sticky, sponges, brushes etc. The gel itself has a very strong aroma if you are allergic I would recommend to wear a protective mask or not to use the product at all.

The application process is very simple, just place the template under the clear sheet supplied, choose designer nozzle for the silicone gel tube and get creative. 

Few things learned from the process:
- do not leave the set for young kids to play with
- do not make fine lines, go over your design few times to make sure each line is thick and is connected to the rest of the design
- it may take a lot of practice to make desings similar to the ones shown on templates, at first they may look blob alike and flimsy, but once you get used to the process and textures it will get easier and better, don't give up just yet!
- do not stretch the end result when pulling of the clear sheet or when in use as it may break
- if your end result is sticky it means that it needs more time to dry
- drying time varies from few minutes depending on the design and it's thickness, sometimes few hours of drying is needed
- clean the tip of the nozzle and your fingers with tissue, the rest of the gel can be easily cleared from the nozzle once it's dry
- if you are not good at creating accessories or do not like the end result, Gel-a-Peel can be perfect for creating window decorations!

It certainly was an interesting experience with lots of product wasted and a little bit left, which I will either keep for future parties or make few rings and decorations for L and I.

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

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Arts & Crafts: Halloween addition

Oh I'm so excited to show you our super easy Halloween themed crafts activity we did the other day- toilet roll's tube monsters! 

You would need:
-cardboard tubes left from toilet rolls
- acrylic on any other type of paints available
- small sheet of plain white paper
- glue stick
- scissors
-black marker or a pen

I have seen this ideas online (as always) but painted on cans, as I don't have a paint that will withstand the metal/aluminium plus I didn't want L to hurt herself on open tops so opted for a simpler option.
I have painted 3 tubes with finger paint and 1 tube with acrylic black paint, which dried relatively quick. Drew facial features and cut them out for Frankenstein, Pumpkin, Ghost and left Black tube aka cat to be finished with L.
Once L was ready to have some fun, I have asked her to apply glue on little cut outs, then I have applied little facial features on our monster and that was it!
With the cat thought it was a little bit more complicated. We have tried crayons, pencils, fingers paints and lastly acrylic paints to draw eyes, nose and whiskers. L was too excited about drawing whiskers so I had to save the day and fix our little kitty. 
I am very happy with the result, especially Frankenstein. Which one is your favourite?

Monday, 24 October 2016

Potty training progress

Oh it's been a while since my last post about potty training, seems like it has taken ages to train but I'm not in a rush.

I can't say that L is fully trained at the moment, since she started nursery we have a bit of delay with potty training as they didn't encourage it until I have mentioned that they should. For the past 3 weeks I have been packing spare clothes which weren't used, this buggered me a lot, but I know that it takes time.
We do have more or less consistent wee's and number 2's in the potty but I think we need to master wearing pants and going to potty without accidents.

They did few attempts with her but as nappy changing and potty training area is in a separate room L may not be simply aware of it or pay much attention to it. I do understand that when she is in a new environment it may take longer than usual, she is getting excited about kids, playing with new toys and not noticing that she needs a wee, but it does feel that we are doing 1 step forward at home and a step back when back at nursery. 

I'm not putting any pressure on L or nursery I just take it easy and observe and praise if things go the right way. 

Friday, 21 October 2016

Obbabee Cutlery for toddlers giveaway

I have a very exciting giveaway collaboration with Obbabee- kids cutlery brand, for all little ones practicing their moves with cutting the food. L is not there yet, but she likes to use knife for pretend play as an alternative which I think might be another way of learning how to use little fork and knife. 

"Helping little ones to feed themselves is quite literally a messy learning curve for children and their parents.

Whether you’re talking food splattered walls, meal-time tantrums or awkward eating implements that just don’t sit comfortably in tiny hands, tots’ breakfast, lunch and dinner times all have the potential to end in tears. Well fear not because the new Obbabee progressive training cutlery range is here to help.

Invented by leading industrial designer Oliver Blackwell and exclusively sold and marketed by award-winning businesswoman and nursery product expert Julie Batten, Obbabee is now set to take the industry by storm having launched to great success at Harrogate International Nursery Fair in the spring.

The ergonomically-designed range is brilliantly simple but hugely effective, helping to make the transition to independent feeding fast and easy. Created using an injection moulding process, the clever, innovative design incorporates a triangular shaped grip ideal for hungry little hands, and also helps children to develop control and coordination.

Sleek and stylish to look at, whether you’re buying it for everyday use or as a thoughtful and highly practical gift, the science behind Obbabee means young fingers and thumbs are guided into the correct position for eating, also ensuring the cutlery is held in the
most comfortable manner. An appetising winner for the whole family!
This British-designed product is BPA free and proudly produced and packaged entirely within the UK. It is currently available in two colourways- teal blue and pink- with more colour options planned for next year. The beautifully made sets are priced at £14.99, and come presented in a clear plastic, portable container, perfect for eating on the go with children or giving as a present.

Julie, owner of popular nursery brand Sleepytot and one of the UK’s top 100 Mumpreneurs, says: “The Obbabee cutlery range leapt out at me from the start as a parenting essential. As a mum-of- three I understand that helping your kids learn to feed themselves is a real parental concern, as I’ve just experienced with my two year old daughter Elsie. I know these exciting products will touch a nerve with other parents".

“Not only does the range make life easier for parents, it also improves your child’s independence and confidence in their own abilities meaning they are much more involved in family mealtimes".

If you would like to be in a chance of winning, please enter the Rafflecopter form below (ends on 11 November):
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Battle with the weight: update 7

I did it! I forced myself to leave a house and to register with a gym! It's not your usual gym though, firstly it's a women's only gym and it's just across the road form our house which is perfect for me! When I popped it to see what it looks like I was really surprise to see so many women, no mirrors (which is a little bit dramatic, I would prefer to see myself being fat to motivate me even further and then to motivate myself by seeing success), no music as you have to listen for the buzzer that goes off ever so often meaning that you need to move from one exercise to another.

I have bought a Groupon voucher as I didn't want to pay for yearly membership if I wasn't sure if I can remain motivated to attend the gym. One of the instructors combined a list of exercises I need to do on their gym equipment and with the mat which for now seems like a doddle and not to hard. I have been there twice and I feel like I haven't done much, which I have told them but they are insisting that I should follow the plan and do only one 30 minute circuit at a time. 
But as it doesn't seem enough I pushed myself to go on a treadmill and to do more exercises at home. I think I overdid during the weekend as my abs were hurting badly for few days but I prefer pain to be a sign that it works rather than not to feel a thing.

My sister said that I have lost weight, I cannot say for sure but I'm back on track with losing weight which is amazing! 

How are you doing with your weight loss?

Monday, 17 October 2016

My breastfeeding regrets

My breastfeeding journey started 2 years and 3 months ago, with it's ups and downs I was very determined to breastfeed L exclusively to proof to everyone that it can be done no matter what you just have to be determined and want to do it for your baby. I knew it is right for L, I wanted to try it as didn't see any other option and was determined to stick to it no matter what, no matter how hard it gets.

I have read different books about breastfeeding but didn't really learn much from them, have visited breastfeeding class prior to giving birth and have learned about the benefits, that you need to persevere, how to hold imaginary baby and where to buy nursing bras. These all now seems so irrelevant and not useful at all. 

Breastfeeding is not about free food your baby receives and other benefits that come with breastfeeding, it's not about correct breastfeeding positions advised by midwives (I used to hold L the way it was most comfortable to me which was very different to the advice given), it's not about sticking middle finger to other mums proving that you did it without a single drop of formula it's about your inner balance, it's about what works for you and your baby, about receiving valuable support and real advice, about the bond between you, your baby and your partner, it's about you feeling relaxed and not pressured my your own guilt or the world around you!

My breastfeeding journey was such a whirlwind, now looking back all I wish is that someone, be it one of the breastfeeding peer supporters, my family, people I met told me- "You are pressuring yourself too much, darling! Try mixed feeding L won't change if you do it, but you will for the better!".

I wish people remembered how hard it is to be a new mum, to be stressed because your hungry baby is screaming and can't sleep. It's not about fighting the corner for formula or for the breast milk, I will be always supporting breastfeeding, but if I knew then what I know now I would have made different choices which would have made my life as a mum, as a woman and as a wife less stressful and pressured. 

Friday, 14 October 2016

Exclusive offers & multibuys from JoJo Maman Bébé

As a mum of a little girl who was called a boy few times I try to buy more girly yet practical outfits for L. Mostly I would buy used items as sometimes I cannot justify the original price but when I see discounts or brands I like the most I may consider paying a little bit more. JoJo Maman Bebe is one of those brands, I absolutely adore cute little dresses and snowsuits, last year I have even invested in a pair of JoJo Maman Bebe snow boots for little L, if only we had proper snow. 

I have an exciting multibuy offer to share with all my lovely readers and shopping addicts which JoJo Maman Bebe have kindly asked to share. 

"Much of JoJo Maman Bébé’s AW16 collection is available to buy using a multibuy offer. The offers can be used when purchasing a different colour or size of an item of the same style.

A range of offers are available for customers including:
  • "Save £10 when you buy 2" on all children's coats
  • "Save £10 when you buy 2” on selected maternity wear
  • "Save £5 when you buy 2” on selected children’s wear, sleeping bags, pyjamas and comforters
  • "2 pairs for £15” and “2 pairs for £10” on selected tights and socks
  • "Save £2 when you buy any 2” on selected mittens, scarves and bibs
These offers are perfect for purchasing those handy wardrobe essentials with a wide variety of styles available in many exciting prints and colours.

Offers are available on items starting at £3 to £39".

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

University Games- Googly Eyes board game giveaway

I'm a big fan of board games and Halloween, even though we don't normally have time to play games or forget to bring the game with us when on holiday I always thought of boards games as a great way of entertaining yourself when you have nothing better to do. From what I remember my little nephew liked to be busy playing or doing something rather than sitting and watching TV, if you little one is just like him this giveaway might be just the right treat for the upcoming Halloween!

I would like to offer to win an exciting new board game from University Games called Googly Eyes (recommended for ages 7+ with RRP: £19.99).

"Googly Eyes, the hilarious drawing game involving crazy, googly glasses that challenge your vision and leave you googling for more.

Simply put on the zany, vision-altering Googly Eye glasses and start to draw whilst the team tries to guess what you’re drawing- and on a time limit!

Googly Eyes is perfect for the whole family and the zany, googly glasses are great for picture opportunities and Halloween silliness".

If you would like to be in a chance of winning, please enter the Rafflecopter form below (ends on 22 October):

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

Monday, 10 October 2016

Review: Schleich Large Farm With Animals & Accessories

Little L is a massive fan of farm animals, she would offer them food, try to give them a stroke or even copy sounds they make. Few weeks ago we had a very exciting delivery from Schleich farm range- large farm with animals & accessories worth £99.99 (suitable from 3 years old to 8 years) which will help L nurture her love for animals, learn how to care for them and what life is like on the farm for pigs and cows. 

"As a friend of children and partner for parents and teachers, Schleich is helping children worldwide develop their fantasy, creativity and personality through imaginative play".

The box itself is bigger than I have imagined having said that with the handle attached it makes it so much easier to carry. Once I have opened the box (L couldn't wait longer) we saw lots of different large and small parts, accessories and toys in individual bags and a book with illustrated manual. I didn't notice any parts or bags being labeled but I have unpacked each bag in order they were mentioned in the manual.
 Instructions were very useful, detailed enough (with pictures) and easy to follow which allowed me to put the farm together within an hour with no additional tools.
All materials and accessories looks very sturdy and durable and I'm sure will last us a while if looked after properly.
Most of the parts from the set are made to "slide together" or can be easily attached into the slots. Whilst I was putting the farm together I was watching L looking through all the parts and toys, she even managed to have a little "taster" session with some of the food accessories from the set.
Once Schleich Large Farm was ready to be played with I let L to discover the farm and to play with little accessories under my supervision as I knew that if I wasn't there all little things would be lost. 

Tip: And here a little tip from me- if your little one is known to lose little toys, I would suggest to keep all the flimsy and small parts in the box and attach them once you have joined the playtime. 
I am very impressed with how much thought went into designing the farm and every single big or small accessory that maybe in use and needed on the farm as well as true likeness toys- farmer "Sam", cow with little caff and pig. Every single toy and accessory have been hand painted and have very realistic textures which make it an incredibly unique set for a child or collector (yes, I wouldn't be surprised to find few adults collecting these perfectly designed toys). 
Some of the features:
- sliding wide door, other doors and windows can be opened and closed
- plastic grey fencing slides to allow access from one part of the farm house to another or can be completely removed depending on your imagination
- windowsill flower baskets  as well as "flowers" can be attached or removed
- yellow massage brush for farm animals can be moved to give a feel of reality 
- removable roof that allows you to create more light in the farm house and allows to reach for things with ease and move toys easily
- "bale" claw which is attached to "metal ceiling beams" moves from one part of the farm house to another allowing to move square bales of hay or other accessories 
- designated areas from grooming with large rubber mat, pen with straw bed
- accessories: wheelbarrow, fork, drinking bowl, bucket, water trough, milk can, crate, ladder, hay; feed for pigs: crisp lettuce, beetroot, boiled potatoes.
You can create different variations of play by adding or removing accessories like fencing or grass hedges, we haven't use all accessories at once due to the size of the coffee table but if we put table on the floor we have more space to work around and more things to add.
L and I have thoroughly enjoyed playing with Schleich Large Farm and farm animals included in the set. If L walks passed her activity room she would always go back to play with the set be it just farm animals or the farm house. L recognised animals straightaway and have learned a lot about their eating and grooming habits. Large size of the farm house allows you to expand your child's imagination with introducing other Schleich animals or accessories ( can be purchased separately) or other toys you may have available at the time. Very versatile toy which offers great play value! 

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

Friday, 7 October 2016

A Frightsome Halloween as The Witches Take Over Tatton Park

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“Witches are easily the most dangerous of all living creatures on earth”. - Roald Dahl

"This October half term, get into the Halloween spirit with a week of witchy fun and mischief- part of Roald Dahl’s Tremendous Adventures at Tatton Park, a year- long programme of events celebrating 100 years since the beloved author’s birth.

From Saturday 22 to Sunday 30 October, The Old Hall-the park’s oldest building- will be transformed into Hotel Magnificent (the scene of most of the action in Roald Dahl’s famous book) where visitors are invited to a Spooktacular Halloween Party and come dressed up.

Find all the ingredients for the Formula 86 Delayed Action Mouse-Maker (the potion that turns children into mice), visit the creepy sweet shop laboratory and listen to spooky storytelling in the barn.

Tatton Park’s Witch Spotting Checklist may come in as a handy guide when you visit the Old Hall!

- They always wear gloves

o 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

o But many choose to wear very realistic wigs- don’t be fooled!

- They have large nose holes

o 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

o 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

o 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

o Real witches have spit so blue they can even use it to write with it.

In The Mansion, little ones will need to be extra careful not to be turned into mice! Follow the trails around the Mansion’s treasures and servants’ quarters to find those unlucky ones who have been transformed already!

When the clock chimes, it’s time to head to The Farm and collect your conker from the Witches’ Tree. The whole family can join in a creepy and chilling conker challenge. To top off the fun at the Farm there’s gazillions of fun to be had taking part in the Fantastic Mr Fox Farm trail.

Visitors headed to The Gardens should expect some gruesome surprises….and there’s still time to go on an adventure with Danny the Champion of the World with Roald Dahl activities throughout the gardens.

Get a Totally Tatton Twit Ticket and enjoy discounted entry to 3 of the above attractions.

Family £27.50, Adult £11, Child £5.50. Car entry £6

For more information visit

For more information about Roald Dahl’s Tremendous Adventures at Tatton Park visit".

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Little L is 27 months old

Last month was a little bit different for us, L had settling in session at nursery and a week later went for her first full day, which didn't go to plan. She has managed to catch a cold and hand, foot and mouth there, and I started to doubt my choice, but no one will ever look after L the way I do, so of course they are not as perfect than me!

For the first time in L's life I took her to measure feet which was possibly for the best as I thought she is still size 5, but we were told that in fact she is size 6.5!!

Did we hit troublesome two's?! Hard to say, she became even more attached to me due to nursery, would insist on having dummy all the time otherwise would cry, would pretend that her tummy hurts every day,  would refuse to put the trousers, nappies on or take them off, is that's the sign that we hit that stage?! I'm not complaining, L is my beloved daughter and I keep admiring her no matter what! 

I hope all the dust settles down and we will have our L back soon!

Monday, 3 October 2016

Review: Wooden click clack track

When L was a little bit younger she used to put a coin or something small through the back of the ironing board and would watch it slide through different sections, something so simple yet so mesmerising! 
I have came across few alternative but only decided to buy one after seeing it's bigger version in L's nursery. I wanted for L to have fun with a real toy as well as help her to make positive associations with the nursery, and that's how I bought her wooden click clack track from Amazon (£9.95). 

The toy is a little bit smaller than I expected and comparing to the bigger one at the nursery (my fault for not checking dimensions: 28cm x 24.5cm x 10cm), but ideal size if you don't have too much space/running out of toy free space. 
The toys itself is suitable from 18 month old, with it being wooden and not to heavy L was able to lift it and carry form one place to another. The toy consists of 4 colourful tracks and 4 little cars (included in the box). Principal is very simple- use 1 or several mini cars from the set by placing them on the top (red) track and watch and listen to them slide or click clack along the way down from the track onto the ground. 

L and I have tried different fun combinations of using the toy- set all 4 cars off at the same time (potentially can get stuck if released at the same time), release each car from different track, push the car down from the lower track, push the car down from the track which colour coordinates with it, don't think we can try anything else but it was very fun to discover what works better.

L has been using the toy since August and seems to be enjoy using it or playing with mini cars. It may have a scratch or two but nothing major and it won't affect the use at all. You don't have to be a liker of cars or to be a boy to enjoy the wooden click clack track.