Sunday 27 November 2016

Build a Bear Workshop Mega Let Down

Oscar and Noah have been desperate to visit a build a bear workshop ever since watching Hobby Kids on YouTube visit one.

We thought we would treat the boys before the big move.
They are off to my mums on Wednesday evening to stay until Saturday when she brings them up to the new house.
So we wanted something fun for them to take with them and a memory which showed moving house isn't all that bad!

So off we went to Maidstone Build a Bear.....

We knew it was going to be expensive but thought the experience of it all would make it worth it!

......Well how wrong were we!

We were the first ones in and when the staff opened up we weren't even greeted with a smile!
The boys took no time in choosing their bears and ran straight to the sound board.
No one came to help.

We stood around waiting, eventually a guy came along but didn't even ask if they wanted a sound or a heartbeat he just sat down at the stuffing part and took Rupert's bear from him.

He stuffed his teddy and sewed him right up without asking if he wanted a special smell or a heartbeat.

Another member of staff then came over to help stuff Noah and Alex's bears, she then got the huff with us as the bears the boys had picked didn't have any stitching in the back.
Like that was our fault!

Whilst we waited for the boys bears to be finished I showed Ru over to the cleaning station. I needed to keep him busy.
Once all the bears were stuffed none of the boys were then showed what to do.
They were just left stood by the stuffing machine.
Waiting and wandering where they were to go to next.

Once the lady had finished sewing up the two bears without stitches I had to show the boys how to work the computers.
No one showed the boys any interest and the magic of building their very own bear was no where to be seen!

I'm so disappointed in the whole experience.
I came out feeling like I shouldn't have even bothered.
It's not like it was even busy, if it was I could probably understand.
We were first in, they'd only just opened up.
All the staff were grumpy and very unfriendly!

We ended up paying well over £80 and that was without clothes and extras and there was no "experience of fun" whatsoever.

It also didn't help that Ru had a mega melt down in the middle of the shop too.
To which the staff just looked at him like he was a piece of rubbish on the floor!

Rupert and Noah's teddies

Alex and Oscar's teddies.

Then to add more to my mood, Oscars storm trooper teddy has a hole in his knee!
We aren't even able to take him back as the count down is on to get the house ready before we move next week!

I'm hoping our lovely neighbour Sue can come to the rescue and help sew him up.

The boys were a bit confused as to why their experience wasn't the same as what they saw online, but they do love their teddies and I know they will be loved for a long time to come.

You sure won't catch me running back to a build a bear any time soon!

Saturday 26 November 2016

Christmas Gift Ideas // My First Scalextric

The big day is just mere weeks away.

Some very organised people may have completely finished their Christmas gift buying by now, but if like me you've hardly made a start you may be searching the web some cool ideas.

I thought I would share some of the toys that the boys have been playing with lately!

You can find this in most toy shops, at the moment it is selling for £23.99 over on amazon.
I would say that was a reasonable price for what it is.
I know scalextics can be pretty pricey, last year we bought Noah a massive one and he loved it.

The box contains all the track, two controllers, a red and yellow car, plus spare parts just in case the cars need to get a bit of an MOT.

This set is designed to be the ideal starting point for younger drivers 3+
Its a perfect introduction to the world of scalextric. Featuring an easy to assemble figure of 8 track.
You have two colour coded adjustable power level controllers which help control the speed of your race.

Track length 256cm requiring 108cm x 61cm space 

The twins really enjoy racing against each other and the giggles they share when the other shoots off track is very funny to watch.
My First Scalextrics will provide endless amounts of fun for the kids and adults alike!
Christmas day could turn into a family race off!!!

Friday 25 November 2016

Tire Your Kids Out! Getting Through The Christmas Holidays

By this point of the year, everyone’s already looking forward to Christmas! Plenty of good food and gifts mean that it’s a time of year that’s relished by all of us. However, for parents this might not always be the case. Of course you enjoy spending time with your kids when they’re not at school, but at the same time it’s hard to think of ways to keep them occupied. Here are some ideas that don’t just involve their Christmas presents…
Get Artistic And Creative

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This is the time of year that you can really get creative with your kids. Look online for any creative Christmas projects that you can do together. You could make a wreath for your front door, or colourful paper chains to hang up in the rooms, or even a centrepiece for Christmas Day. Making clove oranges is fragrant and fun, and will give your home an incredible Christmassy citrus smell. If you want to bake together, you could make simple Christmas sugar cookies before icing them together. Buy cookie cutters online in the shape of Christmas trees, Santa Claus and his reindeer so you can ice them together. You could even give them to your family and friends as Christmas gifts! Likewise, you could get your kids to decorate photo frames that you can give to their grandparents with photographs of them in, for a fun and personal gift.
Go Out On Day Trips

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Obviously you can’t do this every day, because it might get expensive and time consuming, but this is a great opportunity for you to take your kids out and really enjoy an exciting day together. This time of year there are Christmas markets springing up all over the country, so you could take your kids along there to buy a few Christmas gifts and indulge in some sweet treats. If your family is a sporty, active bunch, consider an activity inside like rock climbing or even a high adrenalin trampoline park. By the time you get home, they’ll be tired out and begging to go to bed early – all the better for you! Alternatively, you could take a cultural route and look around for carol services and special Christmas exhibitions at your local museums, or maybe even celebrities turning on your local Christmas lights. This time of year there’s something going on every day!
Wrap Up Warm And Get Outside

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Even though the cold outside might seem a little oppressive, remember that you can use this time of year to make some incredible memories. If you wrap up in lots of layers and with woollen scarves, hats and gloves, you can spend time outside completely comfortably. Put on your walking boots and get hiking – if you have a dog, it’s important that they still get plenty of exercise this time of year, and going on long dog walks or hikes is a great way to spend time together as a family. Just make sure that your dog is wrapped up warm too! If it snows, take your kids out tobogganing, or if you want to keep it low key, go out into the back garden so you can all make snowmen and snow angels together.

Tuesday 22 November 2016

Christmas Gift Ideas With Leap Frog.

Last Christmas we bought the twins Leap Pads and Ru a read with me scout.
They were there favourite presents and they really enjoyed playing with them.
There still going strong today.

So when Leap Frog got in touch and asked if I wanted to review a few things for a Christmas gift guide I was more than happy to say yes!

They really spoilt the boys by sending them
The Leap TV set up,

The twins have been asking for watches for what seems like forever and we've never really found any that we though would be right for them.
So when reading about the Leap Bands I was impressed and questioned myself to why I hadn't thought about looking at them before.

The twins loved them as soon as they saw them in the boxes.
They were desperate for me to get them out and put them onto their wrists.

Leap Bands
suitable for ages 4 -7.

Audio instructions,
Water resistant,
Rechargeable battery,
Parent controls - set quite times and school mode.

The only activity tracker made for kids that encourages active play and healthy habits with 50 fun challenges!

LeapBand comes preloaded with ten imaginative and active play challenges and four cool-down challenges. Parents can add up to 36 more challenges in LeapFrog Connect, so kids will hear fun activity prompts such as "March like an elephant" or "Wiggle like a bug". LeapBand features parental controls to further personalise the experience, including School and Quiet modes.

You can buy the Leap Band from amazon for £13.50, which is a perfect price for a stocking filler/tree present!

The boys love giving all the activities ago, and I can often find them jumping around the living room like a frog in a desperate bid to earn more jewels.

They are easy to charge and to set up, just connect them to a computer and register them over on Leap Frogs Connect page

You can also download an app to your smart phone - Petathlon Games.
Where you can also connect your leadband and it will keep a track of your rewards and you can also play events such as wind sailing, javelin throw, archery and so on.

Count and Crawl Kitty
suitable for ages 9 - 24 months.

Make counting the cat's meow!
Press keys to explore numbers 1-20 and create music.
Bat Kitty's ball of wool or push along for more mew-sical fun.

The kitty is nice and colourful and will catch the eye of any baby.
Ru is older than the recommended age, but he has loved playing with it and I often hear him repeating the numbers and songs that the toy says.
It's helping him with his speech and he loves playing with it.

You can buy count and crawl kitty from Amazon for £10.90.

Leap TV
suitable for ages 3 - 8

The LeapTV system puts learning into motion in three ways:
body capture motion, pointer play and classic controller action.

In the box you get one multi purpose controller, console, console stand, camera stand, motion sensing  camera, HDMI cable, AC power adapter.
You receive a free bonus customisable Pet Play World game with LeapTV registration.

I bought the boys an extra controller and a Spider-Man game off amazon.
The spare controller was £15.50 and the game was £9.99

The twins get envious of Noah playing on his PlayStation so when they saw that they had they're very own console they jumped for joy.

It's relatively easy and quick to set up, so the boys didn't have to wait too long to get going.
They love that they understand what they're meant to do, as rather than have the game instructions written on the screen, it talks to them and tells them what to do.
They are also learning at the same time as playing!

The boys have each pick a pet and love playing games and decorating its home.
Just like on the LeapPad, so because they have already used that they understand what to do on the Leap TV.
The Spider-Man game has been a big hit, even Noah will come and play and help the boys when they get a little stuck.
I can see Santa bringing some new games to fill their stockings!
The Leap TV is aimed at children aged 3-8yrs but its great fun for all the family!

Learning is fun and the leap TV really shows that!

The leap TV kit is currently on sale for only £31.99 rather than £119.99 on the Leap Frog store

Sunday 20 November 2016

The Lurgy Has Come To Visit

The Norovirus has hit our house

Oscar was the first one down, and that was what hit him when we were on our way to preview the new Lego store.
Then Rupert was sick all over me and then Oscar threw up all over his bed.
Then Noah decided he would do the same, then Jon passed out in the bathroom.
Alex was the last to be hit and he spent most of  yesterday being sick into a sick bowl.

Having only one washer-dryer combo the mountain of washing was too much for it to handle and it would have taken me days if not weeks to get it all done.
So I decided to visit a local laundrette.

I managed to get 3 loads done in the time it took for my washer to be only half way through a wash.

On the new house must buy list is an normal washer and a normal dryer.
So at times like this I wont be in such a pickle!

FYI .... washer dryers are rather pants if you have a large family!

I am still going strong and powering on with what needs to be done!
I don't usually get sick so fingers crossed this passes me by too.
We have so much to get done before the big move, getting sick is just not on the agenda!

Happy Sunday guys!


Friday 18 November 2016

Drama At London Victoria Station

The boys were filled with excitement and bounced off to school with big smiles on their faces.
They were so excited about a trip to London after school to see the brand new Lego store in Leicester Square.
I waved them off and told them I'd see them soon.

Fast forward to pick up, they were even more excited and their teachers told me how they hadn't stopped talking about the Lego shop.

Even Noah sprinted across the playground when he saw me.

We made great time and managed to get on an earlier train.
Everything was fine and there was no sign that something was going to stop us from getting to the Lego event on time.
We were even planning on meeting up with my sister in law and nieces for some dinner, as they were also in Leicester Square as Isla had a wardrobe fitting for a new TV advert she's going to be in.

As we reached Bromley South and the train became busier Oscar went rather quiet and felt clammy.
I asked if he needed the toilet and he said he was fine.
Mummy instincts kicked in and I got everyone up and headed for the toilet.

Once in the toilet Alex decided actually he needed the loo and hopped on.
In a matter of seconds I saw Oscar turn white and aimed his head at the sink, just in time for him to be sick.

Alex then hopped off the loo and said actually no he didn't need the loo.
We stayed in the loo for a little bit longer incase their was anything left to come out. 

Luckily the seat just out from the toilets was free, so I popped him on that whilst Alex and Noah sat in the one opposite.
Oscar passed out as soon as he was sat down, and the colour drained from his face.

I kept my cool, as I didn't want to worry the other two.
Once at Victoria I headed straight for a member of staff to ask if there was a first aider or a place I could take Oscar.

He took us along to the information desk where he radioed a member of his team.
I was meeting my dad, so as I phoned my dad the tears came and I couldn't stop them.
I was the crazy lady crying and Alex and Noah didn't know why and Oscar was sat on a chair looking distant.

The staff comforted me and my dad appeared which started me back off.
We were then taken to a back office so we could give Oscar some water and see how he was.

My dad gave Oscar his bottle of water which he told him was dinosaur water (My dad works in the Natural History Museum) and this seemed to perk him up a little.
Whilst my dad and I were concentrating on Oscar, the guy who we only know as Lima 2 was letting No and Alex do some drawings on some paper and letting them take his supply of brownies!

We decided we would go back to my parents house, as they only live 40 minutes from London rather than the 1hr30 it would take us to get back from London.
We loaded up with bags and tissues and we were offered the special station bus that beeps but my dad said no as he could walk faster than that and there was a train due.
My dad carried Oscar and pretty much ran to the train were as my little legs and the boys had to work over time to keep up with him.

We got the train and managed to get a seat.
The bags came in handy and Oscar was sick a few more times on the way back.

Once back home I took him to the out of hours doctors for him to get checked over.
He had a low temp and some ketones in his urine sample.

Two days later and Oscar is slowly getting the colour back in his face.
He hasn't been sick since Wednesday evening.
Plenty of rest and lots of fluids seem to be doing the trick.

After seeing posts about the brand new Lego store, which officially opened yesterday afternoon I'm hoping I can fit in a visit before we move up to Norfolk as it looks sooooo amazing!

Wednesday 16 November 2016

The Magic Chair - A Personalised Christmas Book // Review and Giveaway

Christmas is in the air.
If you're looking for a special book to share with your little one this year.
Look no further!
The Magic Chair offer just that!

One, two, three.... The magic chair was flying free.

We were kindly allowed to review our very own copy of The Magic Chair ... The Search For Santa.

The story is beautiful and really captures the magic of Christmas.

You get to personalise the character so it suits your little one, and you can ever leave a little message for them on the back.

A brilliant keepsake to look back on in years to come!
Making your own character is really simple and takes no time at all.

Rupert loved his book, and even the twins enjoyed listening to the story.
The magic chair takes your child on an adventure to the North Pole to find Santa.
The illustrations are beautiful and they have every Christmas character you could think of in there,
Snowmen dancing, Rudolph, Santa's elves and of course the main man himself!

The Magic Chair also comes in 3 other adventures,
The Magic Chair - The original book,
Travel Through Time,
Adventures Around The World.

The guys over at Magic Chair have given me the chance to giveaway one book to one of my readers.
If you fancy the chance of winning enter the rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and conditions;
UK only,
I will give the winner the special code they need to enter at the check out,
If code doesn't work I will happily contact the magic chair and get it sorted.
Only one winner,
giveaway will run for 2 weeks.

Tuesday 15 November 2016

Canterbury Cathedral

Tuesday's are our child free days and we like to make the most of them.

Today we needed to pop into Canterbury and to make it worth while we decided we would have a wander around the Cathedral.
Neither of us have been there before and both of us were blown away with how beautiful it was.

Of course you know a cathedral is going to be stunning but it just left us speechless at how amazing it was.

We learnt a lot thanks to the helpful staff and I took some lovely snaps.
All were taken on my iPhone, so they could have been much better if I had bothered to take my camera!

I'm not going to say too much in this post, I'll just let the pictures do the talking!


A brief history
In AD 597 missionaries from Rome converted the King of Kent to Christianity.
Augustine, leader of the mission was consecrated as Archbishop and his cathedra (official seat)
was established at Canterbury.
The Cathedral has been the seat of the Archbishop of Canterbury ever since.

Medieval alter

The Black Prince's Tomb

Tomb of King Henry IV and Queen Joan of Navarre

I highly recommend taking a visit to Canterbury and having a walk round the Cathedral.
It really is worth the money!