Stick Dog Wants a Hotdog - Review and Giveaway

23:32 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments

Stick Dog Wants a Hotdog is the brand new children's book from Tom Watson, published by Harper Collins. It is the second in the Stick Dog series which tells the story of Stick Dog and his gang of four friends, and fellow dogs - Mutt, Stripes, Karen and Poo-Poo.

Stick Dog Wants a Hot Dog by Tom Watson

I was really surprised by the book, we haven't seen the first in the Stick Dog series and, rather than a straightforward, printed novel the book looks like a hand written notebook, with lots of little drawings which accompany the text. This makes for an interesting, innovative way of telling the story. It's quite reminiscent of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series and, with this in mind, I passed the book to my nephew who is a huge fan of the Wimpy Kid books.

My nephew tells me that the book describes how Stick Dog and his friends want hot dogs, but it isn't that simple. The dogs end up going on a wild adventure encompassing helicopter flying, trying to get the better of a raccoon named Phyllis and outwitting humans. He really enjoyed the book and said that he loved the different adventures that the Stick Dog and his friends go on. The drawings were great and really helped to tell the story well. My nephew is ten and he did say that he thought it was a little young for him in places. He says he would have liked it more when he was seven or eight. All in all, he really did enjoy the book and said it was a funny, quick and easy read.

Stick Dog Wants a Hot Dog by Tom Watson Close Up Inside

Having looked at the book myself, I'm quite taken with the illustrations. I know that, when I was a child, I would have loved how well illustrated the book is and the funny little cartoons really made me smile. I actually found myself reading through the book, just to see if the five dogs achieved their aim. It is a really engaging read.

Stick Dog Wants a Hotdog, by Tom Watson, is out now and available from all good bookshops.

I have one copy of Stick Dog Wants a Hotdog to give away to a lucky reader. To enter, please complete the Rafflecopter widget below, and remember to read the terms and conditions.

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Boden Comes to eBay - A Review

15:06 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments

Boden is a favourite brand in our house but, as you will know, it's quite expensive to buy so any way of grabbing a bargain on their ranges is perfect. Did you know that Boden are one of the retailers on the eBay Fashion site? eBay's Boden store features a wide range of brand new clothing and accessories at up to 60% off so it's a great way of finding a bargain for yourself or your family.

To promote the range of children's Spring/Summer wear available on the site I was invited to choose a few items for Little Miss to wear. Not a hard choice to make at all. I browsed and selected three items for Little Miss - a pair of blue cord bloomers, a salmon pink fine knit cardigan and a printed polo t-shirt.

Boden Kids at eBay Polo Shirt, cardigan and bloomers shorts

I chose the bloomers and cardigan as I knew that the buttons on the bloomers matched the cardigan's colour and that they would make a lovely little outfit. I'm such a fan of tights and shorts for Little Miss, I think they always look really sweet and, as she isn't walking yet, shorts can be better and more comfortable for her when she is playing on the floor. Pairing a plain pair of shorts with some funky tights and a pretty top will definitely be a regular look for her this autumn and winter. With Little Miss being quite dainty it means that clothes which were bought to wear in Summer get a new lease of life in the cooler months. The Boden bloomers are made from beautifully soft cord with a funky yellow print around the waistband, set off by four pink buttons. They are really lovely and I think she will wear these lots. The fine knit cardigan co-ordinates perfectly and is beautifully soft and easy to wear. I really like the velvet ribbon detail behind the buttons which makes it extra soft and comfortable for Little Miss.

Boden Kids ebay pink cardigan blue bloomers shorts baby girl

The third item I ordered might surprise you but I'm a big fan of making clothes work in different ways so when I spotted the blue printed polo shirt, and the smallest size they had was 2-3, I knew that it would work really well as a little dress for her. She can wear it this way and then, when she gets bigger, wear it as a polo shirt. I love the white dogs print against the bright blue background and I think it looks fab as a dress. This is a great way of justifying purchasing those more expensive items and improving on 'cost per wear' especially in little children who grow so quickly.

Boden Kids Dog Print Blue shirt Baby girl polo eBay

The items arrived quickly, in normal Boden packaging, no-one would know they were bought from the Boden eBay outlet unless you chose to tell them. I'm definitely going to be back to pick up some beautiful bargains for my two, and maybe even myself.

Disclosure: I was sent these items for review purposes, all opinions are open and honest.

We're going on an adventure

Project 365 - The Big, Huge Catch Up Post

00:17 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments

I have 32 days left for my Project 365 and, somehow, I've contrived not to share any of the photos with you for the last six weeks or so. Ridiculous. I'm so near to the end and was in danger of letting it slip away. After a pep talk from my 365 mentor tonight I've decided to catch you all up with one big post. So, here they are. If you're intrigued by any photos please ask. There's loads and I can't even remember why some of them were taken!

That's me up to Day 333, I'm going to be posting daily again until the end of October, when I complete my year and my first Project 365.  Wish me luck!

Silent Sunday 29/09/13

00:00 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments

We Are Ambassadors for The Essential One - Giveaway

23:00 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments

There are some companies that you just 'get' and, when you get the opportunity to work with them as a blogger it's really exciting. You understand their ethos, they like your blog, it's a match made in heaven and a real pleasure. One such company is The Essential One, I came across them around the time of Little Miss' birth and was bought some sleepsuits as a gift, in the intervening year I've chatted with them lots on Facebook and Twitter and met them at Blog On, and of course, I've been back to order more from them too. They are based in Bolton, just down the road from me too.

The Essential One Logo

When I saw that they were recruiting for their next round of 'Much Loved Bloggers' I was very excited, and knew that Little Miss and I had to apply. When the names were announced this week I was delighted, and very honoured, to be named as one of the ten bloggers that The Essential One will be working with over the next few months. Hopefully you'll spot that brand new badge down to the right.

The Essential One Much Loved Blogger

The ten bloggers involved cover all aspects of the range, from second trimester pregnancies through to newborn and then Little Miss who, at twelve months old, is the old lady of the group. Thankfully The Essential One's range goes up to 12-18 months and, as she's still wearing 6-9 months clothes she should be fine. I actually have some beautiful sleepsuits waiting for her in the next size already. I tried these on her when they arrived so she has modelled them already. I'm always reassured by the softness and quality and know she is comfortable in them.

Little Miss in her Essential One Sleepsuit

We're really looking forward to working closely with The Essential One and bringing you some exciting news and reviews. In order to celebrate us becoming Much Loved Bloggers The Essential One have given me a £20 voucher to give away to one of my lucky readers. The prices are really reasonable for the quality of the clothing they sell and you can use it against any products in the range. To enter, simply complete the rafflecopter below, and remember to read the terms and conditions.

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Fresh Fun from Tefal!

15:14 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments

We love our Tefal Fresh Express and, since it arrived, it has been so much easier to prepare fresh and healthy food for my family. Tefal have launched a brand new campaign to promote Fresh Fun to help inject more fun into preparing fresh ingredients.

A Little Fresh Fun with the Tefal Fresh Express

With over a third of ten and eleven year olds in the UK being described as overweight or obese it's never been more important to encourage children to eat more healthily, and that starts at home. Tefal's new microsite aims to offer lots of ideas, and tasty recipes, to make eating fresh ingredients fun. You can even download three templates to make some Fresh Fun Art! Great for getting those fussy eaters involved.

 A Little Fresh Fun with the Tefal Fresh Express Download Templates Friendly DragonflyA Little Fresh Fun with the Tefal Fresh Express Claire Clown Downloadable Templates

Tefal Ambassador, Faye Ripley is the face of the new campaign and she stars in an animated video which shows just how to use the Tefal Fresh Express to make food fun. Faye has two children at home so I'm sure it's a problem she has faced just like the rest of us!

Check out Tefal's Twitter and Facebook accounts for more puzzles and competitions, including the chance to win your very own Fresh Express!

Spookley the Square Pumpkin - A Review and Giveaway

14:17 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments

Bud has really started to take an interest in DVDs recently so I've been on the lookout for new DVDs for us to watch together. I really like matching the DVDs we watch to the time of year so, when the opportunity arrived to review Spookley the Square Pumpkin just in time for Hallowe'en we jumped at the chance!

Spookley the Square Pumpkin DVD Cover Review

Spookley the Square Pumpkin is a brand new release from Abbey Home Media which tells the tale of Spookley, the only square pumpkin in a patch where roundness is very important. When the Jack-a-Lympics are announced Spookley is allowed to take part but quickly struggles as the challenges are designed for round pumpkins, he becomes the victim of some pumpkin bullies but, when the farm is threatened by a storm, can Spookley save the day?

The cartoon is based on the book 'The Legend of Spookley the Pumpkin' by Joe Troiano. At 45 minutes long it's a great length for younger children to enjoy and five very catchy songs will have them dancing along if they are anything like Bud. We particularly enjoyed the Transylvania Twist! I think this would be the perfect DVD for a Hallowe'en party, or just some Hallowe'en half term fun and I'm sure we will be watching this regularly towards the end of October when Bud starts to get excited about the festivities. The cartoon isn't scary so I would have no concerns about really little children seeing any of it. Why not check out the trailer below?

Spookley the Square Pumpkin is available from Amazon and all of the usual retailers.

If you'd like to win your very own copy of Spookley the Square Pumpkin for your little trick or treaters then please complete the Rafflecopter below. I have THREE copies to giveaway. Remember to check the terms and conditions!

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DC Super Friends, the Brand New Magazine - A Review

12:02 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments

Bud loves magazines. They are his favourite treat. In fact, when he won one at a party we went to last week he was more excited than later on when he won a toy! He's in his element when he is allowed to choose one as  treat and will spend ages searching out those featuring his favourite characters and the 'best' toy. When we received a copy of the brand new magazine DC Super Friends Magazine from Titan Magazines. Bud was very excited, and it was perfect timing as it arrived on the day he started nursery so was a lovely afternoon treat for him.

Issue One of DC Super Friends Magazine Comic Batman Superman Green Lantern Flash

DC Super Friends Magazine is a new magazine aimed at children aged between two and five. It's themed around four of the DC Comics stable of superheroes - Batman, Superman, The Green Lantern and The Flash and is packed with stories, activities, features and more. Every issue arrives with a free toy. This time it was a pack of two communicators with double sided screens which you can swap to change which superhero you are talking to. Bud was a bit disappointed that the aerial on the blue communicator snapped off as I removed it from the pack but this didn't affect his ability to play with them.

Issue One of DC Super Friends Magazine Comic Batman Superman Green Lantern Flash Free Communicator Toys

Bud wasn't aware of The Green Lantern and The Flash before receiving the magazine, although he was very familiar with Superman and Batman and his Dad is quite pleased that his superhero education is being improved by the magazine. Apparently these things are important! I love that the superheroes themselves are drawn in a 'cuter' way than in the original comics as I feel that this makes them much more accessible to young children, while still very recognisable. The magazine has 24 pages and I was also pleased to see two activities for children to make - a Batman mask and a Batmobile - I tend to stash these pages for when Bud asks me to make something.

This is definitely the kind of magazine that your child will enjoy looking at on their own but you will need to look through it with them for more complicated reading and the makes. It's a great opportunity to sit down and have a chat though. As far as Bud is concerned the only thing that would improve this magazine is stickers, I think the magazines we usually buy include them so he was a bit puzzled for why there weren't any in this one.

Small boy reading Issue One of DC Super Friends Magazine Comic Batman Superman Green Lantern Flash pages activities makes

We've really enjoyed reading the magazine together and the toys have been a hit. The magazine is monthly and priced at £2:99 which is very competitive for a monthly magazine, I definitely think we would buy it again, especially next month as the free toy is a pull back helicopter! There is also a fab subscription offer priced at £7:80 for three issues, by direct debit (which saves 20%). Just visit to take advantage of the offer.

Disclaimer: We received this magazine free of charge in exchange for an open and honest review.

Win Tickets to the UK Baby & Toddler Show at EventCity with Eisberg Wines

17:22 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments

I'm rather partial to a glass of wine but, obviously, during pregnancy I had to look elsewhere and it was then that I discovered Eisberg Wines. They were a great alternative to soft drinks as they have the alcohol removed, using one of the world's most advanced techniques, making an alcohol free wine with a BPV of less than 0.005%. Not only is it alcohol free, it's also low calorie at just 34 calories per 125ml glass. It's great for when you feel like a grown up alcohol-free drink, and perfect during pregnancy or breastfeeding. There are four varieties available - Chardonnay, Riesling, Rosé and Cabernet Sauvignon - so every wine drinker should be able to find the Eisberg for them.

Eisberg no alcohol free wine Chardonnay, Riesling, Rosé and Cabernet Sauvignon

Eisberg will be exhibiting at the Baby and Toddler Show which is taking place at EventCity Manchester from 27th-29th September at stand 13C, you'll be able to sample the range there and find out more. 

I've teamed up with Eisberg to offer a giveaway to my readers. Two lucky winners have the chance to win a pair of tickets for any day of the show (worth £30) and each winner will also get a bottle of Eisberg to try out too.

In order to enter, please complete the Rafflecopter widget below and make sure to read the terms and conditions! Good Luck!

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Free Personalised Posters from Vertbaudet

23:35 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments

I'm a huge fan of the children's retailer Vertbaudet and always find their clothes to be great quality and really attractive. They also have a beautiful range of nursery furniture and equipment and, in order to support this, and give their customers and fans a little treat, they have come up with a fantastic tool which enables you to produce your very own personalised poster for your child's room, and you can print it at home yourself!

You can add your child's name, date of birth and a personalised comment to your poster and it's super easy to make your own. Simply click through to Vertbaudet Personalised Posters, choose your required poster from the five gorgeous designs available and complete the three fields. You can then download the personalised poster as a PDF and print as required.

Vertbaudet Personalised Posters for a baby nursery

There are five designs available - Butterfly, Jungle, Willow Tree, Car and French. I think their designs would find a home within most nursery themes. The ability to personalise, and especially to add your own message makes them great for both your own children and to print and give as gifts, perhaps as a new baby or christening gift.

I've been playing around with the wizard tool and came up with two ideas that would look perfect in Little Miss and Bud's bedrooms. The Willow Tree is perfect for Little Miss' little bird themed room and there couldn't be a better fit for Bud's jungle bedroom than the Jungle poster! I really like the designs and the artwork is stylish and bright. I'd definitely recommend to anyone looking for some wall art.

           Vertbaudet Personalised Posters in Jungle Theme for a babies nursery

Disclaimer: I received a printed wall poster in exchange for an honest review.

Retro Sweets from Chocolate Buttons - A Review

12:39 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments

When you get a message asking you to review sweets you generally don't hesitate in hitting 'reply' and saying 'yes please!' So when Chocolate Buttons offered me the opportunity to choose from their fantastic range of retro sweets, I clicked through to choose before you could say 'strawberry bonbons!'

I spent quite a long time choosing, largely because I was spoilt for choice. There are hundreds of sweets available in the 'retro sweets' selection, from liquorice to flying saucers to candy bananas, I defy anyone to not be able to find something to tempt them there.  The Retro Gift Boxes seemed like a good place to start, these are themed around their various different contents so whether boiled sweets, chew bars or popping candy are your favourites, there is something for everyone.The boxes are available in a range of sizes too so there is something for a range of budgets.

Sweet Drop Best Ever Liquorice Mega Box from Chocolate Buttons

After much deliberation I opted for the Sweet Drop Best Ever Liquorice Mega Box, this was quite a controversial choice as I'm the only person who likes liquorice in my house. I really love it and I often find it hard to track down in the shops. The box is stuffed with 28 different products, some of which were new to me and many old favourites. I've now sampled everything in the box, although it will take me a while to get through all of the contents, and apart from the banana filled liquorice strips from Maku Laku I've enjoyed everything. The rest of the Maku Laku range especially is something of a revelation as the products included were really innovative and tasted great.. The chocolate filled liqourice discs in particular were amazing! The contents of the box have clearly been thought about carefully and, in addition to the range of traditional liquorice in different shapes and textures, there are also boiled sweets, chewy sweets, toffee, lollipops and, of course, liquorice all sorts and a sherbet fountain.

Sweet Drop Best Ever Liquorice Mega Box from Chocolate Buttons

The sweets are well presented in a sturdy purple cardboard box, which is handy as you can use this to store the sweets until you're ready to eat them. The boxes are so stuffed that it really would make an ideal gift for anyone with a sweet tooth, I'm sure you could find one featuring everyone's favourites. Perfect for those who are awkward to buy for! The Mega Boxes range in price from £16:95 upwards to mine, which sells for £21:95 at the moment, I think they would definitely put a smile on the face of most sweets fans.

Jelly Belly Ice Cream Parlor Mix Sweet Drop Gift Box

My boys didn't entirely miss out on the sweets as I was also able to choose the Jelly Belly Ice Cream Parlor Mix Sweet Drop Gift Box as a treat for them. This is another trademark purple gift box packed with 250g of Jelly Belly beans in five great flavours - Chocolate Devotion, Our Strawberry Blonde, Birthday Cake Remix, Apple Pie a la Cold Stone and Mint Mint Chocolate Chocolate Chip. They are really tasty and we've been enjoying them. I think Jelly Belly beans are the best and it was an opportunity to try one of their mixes of flavours, where complementary flavours are mixed together to great effect. We've been adding a few to ice cream for an impromptu sundae which tastes great. Bud isn't overly keen on the Mint Chocolate flavour beans so he tends to eat around those, luckily they are his Dad's favourite flavour. These Sweet Drop gift boxes are designed to fit through the letterbox so are a perfect way to let a friend or loved one know that you are thinking of them. Currently on special offer at £6:95, this is a reasonable amount to pay for a lovely sweet treat.

The Chocolate Buttons site has been something of a revelation for me. They have a range of gifts to suit all tastes and budgets and I think I will be returning to purchase Christmas gifts soon. I'd definitely recommend browsing their site, especially for those who are more tricky to buy for. I love the look of their chocolate range too and I have my eye on a couple of gifts for people on my Christmas list.

Disclaimer: I was invited to choose a selection of  the range, all opinions are my own and unbiased.

Giveaway - Win a Wheel-y Good Cycling Kit with Jaffa Fruit

17:02 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments

Jaffa Fruit have teamed up with Sky Ride this Summer to bring their gazebo to various events around the country. Sky Ride sees towns and cities all over the country closing their roads to cars for the day to allow cyclists to take to their streets risk free. These are fantastic family events and offer a perfect opportunity for children to experience road cycling for the first time in a safe environment.

Jaffa Fruit Jaffa Man At Sky Ride Event

The Jaffa Fruit man and his team have been giving out juicy clementines, Jaffa bike reflectors and Tesco money off vouchers to Sky Ride participants. The reflectors especially look great and a perfect way to make your child's bike extra visible.

Children enjoying Jaffa Fruit at a Sky Ride event

We don't have bikes in our house at the moment, well Bud has two balance bikes which he loves to play on, but we're definitely planning to start cycling as a family when our two can both pedal themselves! We're lucky to live in a place where we can access a huge network of cycle routes from our front door, with very little cycling near roads involved, so I think it will be a perfect way to spend quality, active time together as a family. I think we'll be looking out for local Sky Ride events too.

Little boy enjoying Jaffa Fruit at a Sky Ride event

Jaffa Fruit have kindly offered me the opportunity to giveaway a fantastic cycling pack to one of my lucky readers. The pack contains a Halfords bike pump, water bottle, bike lights, bike computer, and Jaffa Fruit orange shaped bike reflectors, t-shirts and Tesco money-off vouchers.

Jaffa Cycling Prize Pack

To enter the giveaway please follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter widget below, paying attention to the terms and conditions.

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Preparing for Bud to Start Nursery

15:27 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments

Preparing Bud for pre-school nursery

In less than a week my boy starts his journey into education when he takes up his place at our local nursery (pre-school). I'm trying not to worry and I'm sure he will be fine. The nursery is rated outstanding in all areas by Ofsted and is a warm and welcoming place. We'll see how he gets on on Wednesday after his first proper session. He'll be attending for five mornings a week, I know lots of people prefer to take their 15 hours of funding in day blocks but I feel that this will work for us and will start to prepare him for the routine of going to school next year.It will also give me some much needed time to focus on Little Miss. I'm really looking forward to spending one to one time with her.

I've been thinking about what he will need for nursery. Our nursery promotes outside play as much as possible so children are expected to get a bit messy. They recommend uniform as it's hard wearing and easy to keep clean so we've been buying it for him. Marks and Spencer School Uniform was recommended to me for lasting a long time and washing really well, just what every mum wants really. I was sent a pair of their Boys' Pleat Front Trousers with Supercrease™ & STORMWEAR+™* in age four. They are a very smart pair of trousers which are crease resistand and designed to repel water and stains. Perfect for my mucky pup! The trousers are pull on which is important as Bud hasn't really mastered buttons yet and I love the adjustable waist which allows you to get a really good fit on the waist. At £8 I think they will be a good, hardwearing pair of trousers with the usual Marks and Spencer quality.

Marks and Spencer Boys' Pleat Front Trousers with Supercrease™ & STORMWEAR+™ School Uniform

I remember from my time working at a nursery that children tend to pick up all sorts of coughs and colds at this time of year so, to be prepared I've been giving Bud a multi-vitamin everyday. These chewy Disney Cars Multivitamin Gummies* from Vitamins for Kids (US Nutrition) are really popular with Bud, he loves the car shape and the taste too and at £8:99 for 60 gummies I think they are good value if your child needs a boost to their diet.

Disney Cars Multivitamin Gummies Vitamins for Kids

Knowing what to do about various childhood ailments is always a struggle and I've been very pleased to take part in the creation of a Back to School wallchart* with Boots. The wallchart can be viewed online or downloaded free of charge and is packed with tips from both Boots' experts and some of my fellow Parent Bloggers to help the back to school period pass smoothly and easily. We have a hard copy of it and I think I'll be putting it up on the wall in the kitchen to keep the tips to hand.

Boots Back to School Health Wallchart

I'm sure Bud will be starving when he finishes nursery at lunchtime each day so I've been looking for healthy and nutritious snacks to offer him on the walk home. I don't want to resort to sweets or crisps! Luckily I remembered just how much my two love Ella's Kitchen's Smoothie Fruits* pouches. I reviewed The Orange One with Bud back in my earlier blogging days and the range has continued to be a firm favourite in our house, with all five flavours being equally popular. I think they would be a great addition to a lunch box for an older child too, they definitely are not just for babies. They are available in all major supermarkets so handy to pop into your trolley when doing a main shop.

The main way we have been preparing for the big day has been to talk about it a lot and I bought a couple of books to read about it too. See You Later, Mum! and Maisy Goes to Nursery have both been popular choices at bedtime story time lately and I think both of have helped him to understand all about going to nursery, what will happen there and being left there by me.

So, what will Little Miss and I do when Bud is having fun at nursery? Well, as my girl usually naps from around 10am I think I might get to enjoy a rare cup of hot coffee! I've been trying out the new range of Percol Fusion All Bean Instant* coffees lately. I really like whole bean instant coffee and was really pleased to see Percol launch one as their decaffeinated coffee was the only decent one I found to drink when I was pregnant. The Kilimanjaro is prepared in exactly the same way as a 'normal' instant but contains micro-ground, handpicked Arabica coffee beans for a much bigger, rounder flavour. I'm really enjoying it and I'm sue I'll enjoy it even more when I get a hot cup of it!

Percol Fusions Instant wholebean whole all coffee kilimanjaro

We had a little visit to Nursery today so Bud could have a look around and we could collect his uniform sweatshirts. He seemed to love all of the toys and outdoor play and, a few times, he wandered off away from me so I'm hoping he will be confident and happy when he starts on Wednesday! I'll probably be in pieces though!

How did starting school or nursery go for your children?

Disclaimer: I received review samples of all of the items marked with *. All opinions are my own.

Why You'll Want to Come Back to the Lake District Again and Again

08:08 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments

A good holiday destination is one you’ll want to go back to again and again – whatever the season. You may think of the Lake District as somewhere that’s best visited in summer, but it’s not too shabby in spring, autumn and winter either. Holiday parks are usually open from March until November and after reading this, you’ll want to be coming back to the Lake District all year round.


Spring is when the Lake District reawakens after the winter and when the holiday parks reopen in March, you’ll really see this region come alive. Nothing will get you into the spring-spirit more than a walk through the beautiful green countryside. 

Beatrix Potter Peter Rabbit Egg Hunt

And as you get ready for Easter, so does the World of Beatrix Potter. This popular tourist attraction hosts an annual Cumbria-wide Easter egg hunt which runs until all 100 eggs have been found. They’re hidden all over the Cumbrian countryside so start your search as soon as you arrive!


Summer is when the Lake District truly comes into its own because you can witness the spectacular scenery in all its glory; clear, sunny days definitely make the most impressive photos.

Summer also has the best conditions for walking and the most daylight hours so it’s the best time of year to tackle Scafell Pike. You’ll probably need about 8 hours to get to the summit and back down again so you’ll be glad of that extra light.


With so many caravans for sale within the Lake District, buying your own could be the perfect way to enjoy the region all year round. The Lake District is within two hours of Liverpool, Manchester and Leeds so before the winter sets in you could use your caravan in the Lake District for a few autumnal weekend getaways. The changing colours of the leaves in historic market town, Kirkby Lonsdale is truly stunning in this season.

Lake District Autumn Colour

Winters in the Lake District may be chilly but you can still have a great weekend getaway in November at the end of the holiday park season.

Old Dungeon Ghyll

Get in the winter spirit with a brisk walk through the region’s impressive scenery, and then warm up with some tasty food in a cosy pub. The Langdale Valley is at the heart of the Lake District, not far from Grasmere, and if you’re looking for somewhere good to eat, our tip is the Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel. Their delicious homemade leek and potato soup is just the thing the warm you up on a cold winter’s day.

Brought to you in collaboration with Haven Holidays

The Graco Sky - A Guest Post Review

08:00 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments

I love to write about prams here at Red Rose Mummy and have featured Graco quite often, especially in my time reviewing the Graco Evo. Five testers are currently reviewing the Graco Sky and I'm so pleased to bring you a guest post from Donna who blogs over at Redhead Babyled with her findings on Graco's brand new travel system.

I've been testing the Graco Sky for 3 weeks now and I have honestly loved using it!

For those of you that aren't familiar with my situation, I have a 2 year old, a 3 month old and a huge bus of a double buggy. Getting out of the house and anywhere with toddler, baby and unruly travel system was a nightmare and I knew that a change had to happen - I needed an easier way of getting us all from A to B and it no longer involved that humongous tandem pushchair.

It was at this time that I was given the opportunity to review the new Graco Sky travel system! Graco heard my plea for help and I found myself a finalist in Graco's search for their next ambassador which involved testing the Graco Sky over the coming weeks.

The Sky is Graco's newest Travel System. It comes in three colours: Black, Sea Pine or Purple Shadow and comes complete with the pushchair base, the pushchair seat and the car seat with attaching bracket. Also included is a raincover and footmuff - everything you could need! This sounds like any other travel system really doesn't it? Well, it's different. The Graco Sky pushchair seat converts into a 'Babynest'. It lies flat from newborn and, with the help of a couple of flaps and velcro tabs, converts into a carrycot style attachment that will cocoon your baby until it's ready to go in the main pushchair seat.

Graco Sky Travel System Sea Pine Pram Travel System Pushchair Stroller Carseat Baby nest

Having all these options was amazing for us. I am a huge babywearing fan and decided that life would probably be easier if I used a combination of the pushchair and sling.

LP, my Daughter - Little Pickle, has just turned two and is starting to walk more. The times when she's happy to walk, Little Man has been using the baby nest of the travel system - and he loves it! It's well padded and he's free to kick about and chat away while still being secure. When LP gets tired I put Little Man into the sling and put LP back in the pushchair. She's used to forward facing since being in the double buggy but occasionally I've been putting the Sky in parent facing mode and it's been lovely to to be able to see her, chat to her and even occasionally 'row the boat' whilst we've been out and about!

Whenever we go out in the car, Little Man uses the Graco Sky Car Seat and often I use the car seat on the pushchair base rather than getting the whole pushchair out of the boot - especially if we're not staying out long.

Overall, we have found this to be a really versatile travel system which is also lightweight and compact - only taking up half my Ford Focus boot, folding with the seat attached and doesn't need the extra space/cost of a carrycot attachment. It also folds within seconds, has a huge shopping basket and has a handy parent tray with drinks holders and easily accessibly storage.

I cannot find fault with this travel system. If I were to have to think of some criticism I would say that parts of the pushchair feel plasticky such as the parent tray. However, this is a really great travel system for under £400. If you want a more expensive, heavier travel system with all metal parts then there are plenty on the market to choose from!

If you want a reliable, affordable travel system then the Graco Sky should definitely be a contender! With the Graco Sky you have the proven Graco quality and a travel system that is hard to fault.

I'd like to thank Donna for her post, head over to her blog to find out more about the Graco Sky!

Win Pampers with Tesco Loves Baby

15:47 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments

We're huge fans of Tesco's Baby Events and always try to stock up on those essential baby supplies for Little Miss when thy are running. It is always a great time to stock up on nappies, wipes and baby snacks and can save money in the long run by waiting for the right time. Added to this the ability to collect Clubcard points and it's possible to get some great bargains.

To celebrate a fantastic new offer - Pampers Baby Dry Mega Packs are just £10 until the 15th September - I've teamed up with Tesco to offer one of my lucky readers the opportunity to win a pack of Pampers Baby Dry nappies.

Current offers running at the moment include reductions on nappies, wipes and baby toiletries and some great 3 for 2 offers on feeding it is well worth checking out the Tesco Baby Event Page to see the complete range of offers.

In order to win the nappies please complete the Rafflecopter widget below.

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Save vs Spend: Getting the Balance Right

00:57 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments

Money worries are currently one of the biggest problems facing families in the UK. Money problems are a major contributing factor in divorce, depression and stress amongst other things. This is all unavoidable when battling debt, but many people put themselves under this strain in order to save for the future, forgoing living in the present in favour of putting money aside. 

Whilst it is important to save to buy a house, a car, or to put some money away for your retirement, if it means you are sacrificing your happiness in the present, then the balance needs to be readdressed. Putting money away that you can comfortably afford to live without is great, but scraping by so that your future self and family will benefit will only lead to problems in the short term. 

Work out what you can live on, then add a bit more. Whatever is left after this you can save. Adding the bit more means that you can maintain some sort of quality of life whilst investing in the future. The extra can go towards little treats for the family, or be used towards a holiday or something larger. A holiday doesn’t have to mean an aeroplane and thousands of pounds - holidays in the UK can be great fun for the whole family and mean you can still carry on saving that year. Right now you can win UK breaks with the Cushelle Online giveaway just by entering a code you can find on promotional packs of toilet paper. 

Cushelle Win a UK Break

Don’t be afraid to take a month or two off from saving at more expensive times of the year, such as Christmas or the summer holidays. When money is tight, saving is where you can cut back, knowing that you can start putting away the pennies again when you are more comfortable. 

Always plan for the future, but don’t forget to enjoy life for the moment. Make memories with your kids rather than scrimp and save to buy them a house when they are grown. Make the best of what you have rather than constantly striving for more. Dreams are great, but never at the expense of the here and now. 

Brought to you in collaboration with Cushelle

The Hape Discovery Space Centre - A Review for Izziwizzi Kids Play Fest

00:45 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments

Hape Discovery Space Centre Review Wooden Spaceship Rocket toy

Every so often we get a really lovely opportunity to review something really special and, when we were chosen to review the Hape Discovery Space Centre for Izziwizzi Kids Play Fest, I was more than a little excited! We love wooden toys in our house and Hape are a favourite brand of ours. They have innovative designs and, in their play sets, offer some wonderful opportunities for creative, imaginative role play.

The Hape Discovery Space Centre arrives in a large box with a carry handle displaying the trademark Hape branding. The toy requires assembly, we decided to keep it well away from the children as there are some very small pieces. This meant that, when Bud was introduced to the toy he received the full 'wow' factor rather than hanging over us waiting for the toy to be built. 

The box says that 39 pieces are included. Now, I'm not sure where this figure comes from as there isn't a full contents list but there actually a few more than 39 in there! The main rocket body is made up of three large wooden fins and  four floors, with a central lift. It's really easy to assemble with six screws that secure the rocket at top and bottom. In addition to this there is the landing module which also forms the nose cone of the main rocket, two astronauts, an alien, a robot, eight pieces of lab equipment, a flag, a piece of the moon's landscape, a folding solar panel landing pad, a truck with two tanks, a bed, a treadmill and various cord 'hoses', 'tools' and tiles for the astronauts to investigate.

Hape Discovery Space Centre Wooden Toy Rocket Set upHape have really thought of everything for a small boy to play with in the Discovery Space Centre. Bud is three years and five months at the time of writing and, while we have discussed space and he has a few books which talk about aliens and rockets, I was really impressed by his knowledge. On seeing the rocket he immediately started putting all of his space vocabulary to good use and telling stories about what was happening with the 'space man' and 'space girl' and the alien. He knew that the rocket would blast off and land on a planet, or the moon and that the astronauts would have to wear their space suits and helmets to go outside, demonstrating the role play capabilities of this toy. The only things that remotely confused him were the truck and he asked 'what's a car doing in space?' and the tiles which he quickly decided were space treasure for the astronauts to dig up. As we played with him he soon started to pick up on new vocabulary like 'lunar rover', 'oxygen tanks' and 'solar panels' and we could tell that his understanding was increasing too. It's fantastic to see him playing in such a creative, imaginative way and this toy is really drawing that out in him.

The rocket has a few small, fiddly components which Bud has enjoyed getting to grips with. Connecting hoses between different play pieces is quite tricky for a three year old but it's clear that he is really determined to ensure he does it, great for improving his fine motor skills. There are also lots of little nooks and crannies, like a rack to store the spade in, or windows to pass things through, in addition to the winch which is used to raise and lower the elevator up and down the space centre. Within a few minutes of playing with the toy it was interesting to see how this skill, especially, improved.

Hape Discovery Space Centre Close Up details Spaceship alien rocket robot wooden toy

The Hape Discovery Space Centre is a beautiful toy. It's large, I would say over a metre in height and it will look wonderful on display in Bud's bedroom. The wood is finished to the highest quality and the painted finish is intricately detailed and great looking. All Hape toys are made from FSC certified wood so you can buy with confidence.

Hape Discovery Space Centre Characters Spacemen Astronauts rocket Alien Robot Wooden toy

The toy is aimed at age 3+ and I would say this is definitely accurate. There are many small pieces that would represent a choking hazard and, simply in understanding, I feel that a younger child really wouldn't be able to engage with this toy in an appropriate way. I think the optimum age for this would probably be from three to around six. Buy it at the correct time and your child could get a few years of enjoyment from it.
I have a video review of Bud playing with the Hape Discovery Space Centre, you can see just how much he loves it here.

You can purchase the Hape Discovery Space Centre from Amazon and other good toy retailers. It retails at an RRP of £105 but, for a wonderful toy I think it is really excellent value. It has been played with on a daily basis since it arrived in our house and I feel confident that this will continue going forward. We really love the rocket and Bud is over the moon with it!

Disclosure: We are Toy Testers for Izziwizzi Kids Play Fest and received this toy free of charge in return for producing a video review.