How to Go About Moving the Kids to London
16:27 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments
Housing in London is considered very expensive
Before moving South, take a look at the area that you are hoping to move to and base it primarily on your budget if that will be an issue or if the children’s schools are a priority, focus your search in the boroughs that come up highest with the academic scoring principles. House prices are very high and getting a mortgage has become more complex especially owing to the recent economic downturn. However there are always ways in which to cope with the increase in expenses: choose an area where you can get to know the neighborhood by renting which allows the family to become acquainted with the new routine. Kids are flexible especially if the parents are as well.
Be positive about what can happen when moving to London
Because you will have surely done some research and have not decided to uproot your family on a whim, let them know that your daughter’s dancing lessons can still continue because you have several places she can choose from after school. Shopping sprees for your favourite designers are possible but check online first at sites like Watches of Switzerland to get a flavor for London’s wonders before splurging on high end jewellery or clothes. Your son’s rugby will continue at the school because he has been accepted at a rugby school. There is a local park where they can walk the dog. The positive aspect is that you will be on an adventure altogether and can discover London in so many different ways.
Further activities and city adventures once settled in after the move
There are so many places to visit now that you are in London and your children will be excited to show them:
• The Museum sleepovers with all night activities for birthdays or special events, taking place all year round
• Explore the Big Smoke on water using the hop-on hop-off Thames tours from Westminster, Waterloo, Tower and Greenwich peers
• Take the tour using the underground travelling across 150 years of its history in two hours from the oldest to the most futuristic one
• Big Bus Tours showing central London on different routes that also includes a river cruise between Westminster and Greenwich as well as Harry Potter film locations and Ghosts by Gaslight
• Using Vintage –style bikes, try the Mind the Gap tours to Windsor and Hampton Court in small groups cycling at a leisurely pace
• SmallcarBigCity allows groups of threes to be taken around London in a classic Mini 1960s car. The iconic car takes the ‘The Royal Tour’ and ‘The Great Escape’.
Nothing beats London!
Tree Fu Tom Ranger Utility Belt
15:01 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments
We have a couple of Tree Fu Tom toys already so when we were offered the chance to review one of the new offerings from Flair I was fairly sure it would be a big hit here! We received the new Tree Fu Tom Ranger Belt Utility pack which allows your child to accessorise just like Tom I was pretty sure Bud would be impressed. The Ranger Utility Belt arrives with all of the items that Tree Fu Tom fans would expect, you receive:
- The Belt which is fully adjustable, made from a seatbelt like canvas and features a holographic sapstone for the full 'the sapstone in my belt is glowing' moment
- A working compass shaped as a leaf to clip on to the belt
- A magnifying glass which clips on to the belt
- A pouch to contain your wildlife spotting notebook and identification cards, you feed this on to the belt using the loop on the back
- Two clip on ranger badges, which also clip on to the belt
- A scarf and woggle
Special K Granola - Review and Giveaway
16:56 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments
Disclosure: I received the product in exchange for an honest review
Win competitions at ThePrizeFinder.com
Pipsy Koala On the Go Booster Seat
13:49 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments
The Booster Seat arrives folded into a handy bag shape, complete with shoulder strap. You simply open the velcro flap to unfold the seat. Here you find two adjustable straps which are used to attach the booster seat to a dining seat. One loops under the seat and fastens with a click, and the other is secured in the same way at the back of the chair. The straps are super easy to pull tight, you simply pull the loose end to the desired length and, after doing so, I felt that the seat was secure and unlikely to move. From there you pop your child into the seat and fasten the harness. The main part of the harness is a triangle which sits between the legs and features the Pipsy Koala branding. This is fastened at both sides using adjustable straps with small clip fasteners. The harness and inside of the seat are made from wipe clean plastic, great for those messy meals, and the outside of the harness and straps are made from canvas.
We've now used the Pipsy Koala On the Go Booster Seat a few times, it's really handy to keep in the car for when we are out and about and great to use at relative's houses. The height of the booster seat (8cm) gives Little Miss just enough height to make her seating positions at the table better and she loves feeling like she is sitting up with everyone. When she has spilled food a simple wipe has been enough to keep the booster looking fresh and clean. The seat when folded measures 31x26cm so it is small enough to pop in the car, or in the shopping basket of a pushchair (or even looped over a handle if that is full). The black and beige style is easy to keep clean and robust. The seat is recommended for use from around six months (as soon as a child can sit unsupported I would say) to four years so I think we will be using it for at least the next two to three years (especially as LM is so tiny). We like the seat very much and would definitely recommend it for parents who regularly find themselves in need of a boost to their little one's sitting position.
The Pipsy Koala On the Go Booster Seat has an RRP of £21:99 which I think is a very reasonable price to pay for an item that makes eating out with your little ones easier. The booster seat can be purchased from the Pipsy Koala website or from the list of independent stockists shown on there.
Disclosure: We received this item in exchange for an honest review.
Chill Factor Colour Blast Squeeze Cup Slushy Maker
22:56 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments
Chill Factor Slushy Maker Colour Blast cups are available from Character Options and the usual stockists with an RRP of £12:99 which I think is very reasonable value for money for something that has quickly become a staple in our kitchen.
Disclosure: We received this item in exchange for an honest review.
A Trip Down Memory Lane from Fisher-Price Retro Classics and Esdevium Games
21:51 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments
Esdevium Games, the board game manufacturers, are the UK distributors responsible for bringing the Fisher Price Retro Classics range to this country. Basic Fun have recreated a range of products from the golden age of Fisher Price - the 1950s to 1970s which include some of the most well known, iconic toys that parents and grandparents will remember from their youth. I couldn't choose from the range of products available so asked for a surprise parcel.
When my parcel opened I was excited to open it and find the Chatter Telephone and Music Box Teaching Clock. This was a perfect combination for us - one is a product that I am very familiar with and the other one was new to me, we didn't have the Music Box Teaching Clock at all when I was small.
First, the Chatter Telephone. As you can see from the photo above, we have a Chatter Telephone at home already. The modern version which has been a much loved toy for us. I found it quite amusing when I showed the retro Chatter Telephone to Little Miss as she went to get 'her' phone and brought it to me. It was as if she was saying 'look, the same!' Well they are the same, but different. The Chatter Telephone was introduced by Fisher-Price in 1961, so it celebrated half a century a couple of years ago. The ringing dial, chatter noise as it rolls and wobbling eyes are exactly the same as I remember them from my childhoood, with the brightly coloured stickers and blue wheels too.
I remember loving this toy as a child, it was always a favourite. The new Retro Classic version, while it looks really similar has one significant difference from the one I remember. There's a story in our family about my brother, who is two years younger than me, launching our Chatter Telephone at my head in a fit of pique as a toddler. I can stiil remember how it felt, I saw stars and had a nasty lump, that toy wasn't light! The Retro Classic Chatter Telephone does feel much lighter than our old one so, hopefully, my two won't be recreating that incident!
My two were very pleased with the retro Chatter Telephone. I can't help feeling that the Retro Classic version has much more character than the modern day version. It got me thinking about the technology my children are growing up with. I don't think either of my children have ever seen a working rotary dial telephone but they both instinctively know how to turn the dial and that you hold the handset to your ear to talk. I think that, no matter how far technology advances we'll still always give our children telephones that look like traditional phones to play with, and I defy anyone not to 'answer' a phone handset given to you by a toddler!
The second toy we were sent was the Retro Classics was the Music Box Teaching Clock. This toy was introduced in 1968 and aimed to make learning to tell the time fun! I can't find a modern day equivalent to this one and we don't actually have any toys which look at telling the time. Bud has a fascination with clocks at the moment but is finding understanding the hours and minutes quite confusing, if you ask him what time it is he usually answers 'four 'o'clock'.
The Music Box Teaching Clock comes in the shape of a Grandfather's Clock and is complete with a hanging hook, a dial to wind to play 'My Grandfather's Clock' and a dial on the front which allows the child to change the time. The dial is beautifully decorated and shows day and night. We've been using this toy to talk about what time day and night begin, what time we go to bed and what time we get up. It's a really beautfully decorated toy and, again, significantly lighter than the small Fisher-Price music box I used to own.
Both Bud and Little Miss love the Music Box Teaching Clock but play with it in very different ways.. Bud is really trying to learn about the hours in the day and is finding it a helpful tool. Little Miss, on the other hand, prefers to play the music and carry it around like a handbag.
In addition to the Chatter Telephone and Music Box Teaching Clock that we have tried the Fisher-Price Retro Classics Range also includes the following toys:-
- See 'N' Say, The Farmer Says
- Buzzy Bee
- Movie Viewer
- School Days Play Desk
- Changeable Picture Disk Camera
- Music Box Record Player
- Change-A-Tune Piano
- TV Radio
- Two Tune TV
- Pulll-A-Tune Xyylophone
- Milk Wagon
The Fisher-Price Retro Classics range is distributed in the UK by Esdevium Games and is available in a range of stockists including Amazon.
Disclosure: We received these toys in exchange for an honest review
The Outtakes #1 - Sport Relief
13:40 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments
Bud took part in 'The Big Wiggle' at nursery this morning to raise money for Sport Relief (it's not too late to sponsor us by clicking this link) this morning. He wore caterpillar colours and the children enjoyed a wiggle around the outside play area. He had a lovely time. They've been learning all about the Hungry Caterpillar this week so he was telling me the story of what the caterpillar ate each day while I attempted to grab a photo to share on Social Media. I got one I liked in the end but this is one of the particularly animated ones!
Tractor Ted Fun Day - Spring Printables
12:20 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments
Styles for All the Family: What to Wear to a Spring Wedding
11:15 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments
However, for some brides, the wait will almost be over, with their springtime wedding looming. They will likely have everything under control as they finish off the final touches, creating a table plan to be proud of and a reception that will get everyone dancing. If you and your family have been invited to a springtime wedding, the only thing you will have to worry about is what to wear and, for you and your brood, there are plenty of options.
Remember that, as it’s spring (and we are in England), you will still have to wrap up warm. However, that doesn’t mean you need to don the thermals – you can still look stylish and sophisticated, even with an extra layer on a blustery day. Here are some fab ideas for all the family:
Any excuse for a frock, right? While some women don’t like the idea of donning a dress, others will thrive at the thought of shopping for something pretty. Rock the 50s look with a swing dress, curled hair and some red lippy, or opt for a typical wedding ensemble, complete with bolero or pashmina to keep the chill at bay.
What men wear will depend largely on the formality of the day. Base the outfit choice on the kind of wedding you’re all invited to, and the type of couple that are getting wed. Perhaps it calls for the utmost in formality – a tailored pair of trousers, tucked in shirt and smart tie? Or, on the other hand, some springtime weddings call for smart shirts and chinos. Dress code will also depend on whether you’ve been invited to the whole day, or just the evening proceedings.
Little boys will look very dapper in a cool pair of trousers, teamed with a stylish shirt, waistcoat and, if you’re going for a trendy vibe, a flat cap and braces. Older lads will feel absolutely dandy in a shirt and trousers – longer sleeve shirts are ideal during the spring months and, if it’s particularly cold, they can pop a T-shirt on underneath the shirt as an extra layer.
Girls are usually content with a pretty dress and, in the springtime, a pair of tights and a cardigan wouldn’t go amiss. Some of George’s girl’s dresses are simply gorgeous and offer fantastic value for money too. Accessorise the outfit with some pretty flowers in their hair, or learn how to do a waterfall braid for something that little bit different.
Dress your family up to the nines and head out to a springtime wedding looking amazing. Just because it’s a little chilly outside doesn’t mean you can’t all look fabulous for family occasions. Turn out looking great and, above all, have a brilliant time!
Mother's Day Gifts from Me to You
13:04 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments
Tatty Teddy features a range of gifts this Spring which are sure to delight any mum. With a cute photo frame, a 'World's Best Mum' bear, apron, mug and stencil set and shopping list pad I'm sure that anyone could find perfect gift for their Tatty Teddy fan mum.
Find the Perfect Mother's Day Gift
15:02 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments
I don't want to be on my own, it wouldn't be Mother's Day without my children, would it? I'd love a good lie in and a coffee in bed though! LM isn't sleeping very well at the moment so good night's sleep would really fit the bill. I'm very pleased I've never had to pretend to like a gift. This year my birthday falls two days before Mother's Day so I'm hoping to be spoiled! I think my ideal day would be some sunshine, a walk, lunch out and some pampering products to relax with.
What do you think of the survey results? Do any of them apply to you?
Tractor Ted's Activity Book 2
17:22 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments
I'm delighted that we're now going to be working with Tractor Ted and the first product I have to show you is the brand new Activity Book 2 released just in time for Easter and featuring 'eggstra Easter treats'.
This is very much a Spring book and the contents all tie in with new life, baby animals and the farm machines getting the fields ready to grow crops. The first thing to note is that this is not a story book, It's not something that is designed to be read. Every page can be interacted with, whether it's learning pencil control by following dot trails to write words, colouring, or matching baby animals with their parents. It helps with hand eye coordination, counting, number recognition and learning about animals.
Activity Book 2 is great quality, the pages are full colour and tough. They aren't likely to be ripped by a too-rough Bud, which is always good news for us. The cover is glossy and each book has 32 pages. The content is designed to fit into the Early Years Foundation Strategy and it is perfect for Bud just now. We're really trying hard on pencil control just now and looking at CVC (Consonant-Vowel-Words) and the book features plenty of opportunities to do work on those. At not quite four there is plenty to interest and engage him and we've spent rather a lot of time looking at, and working on, this book since it arrived here.
The book is priced at £4:99 which represents excellent value for money. I think this would be the perfect Easter gift, if you are looking for an alternative, or addition to chocolate. Tractor Ted Activity Book 2 is available from www.tractorted.co.uk and country stores nationwide.
Tractor Ted have also released a range of Spring printable alongside the new book, my friend Anna at In the Playroom has a fab post featuring them here.
If you'd like the chance to win one of five copies of the book then my friends Eileen and Kel are running givesaways over at their blogs - ET Speaks From Home and Writings, Ramblings and Reviews.
Disclosure: We received this book in exchange for an honest review
Blog Your Heart Out
22:32 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments
Question 2. How did you choose what topic to blog about?
I don't. I write about whatever I feel like. I love to write about my children and post photos, I really want them to have something to look back on when they are bigger. I'm hoping to go in a slightly different direction this year, plans are forming. Watch this space!
Question 3. What is something most people don’t know about you?
I'm afraid of Testudines (turtles,tortoises and terrapins). I know my closest friends and family know about this but I thought I'd share it with the world. This makes me chelonaphobic and herpetophobic, apparently. It's such a random thing to be scared of and makes visits to aquariums and Sea Life centres difficult!
Question 4. What three words describe your style?
A tricky one. If it's writing style I'd like to say comprehensive, precise and eloquent. I hope so anyway! My personal style is relaxed, comfortable and low maintenance - all the better to run after two monkeys!
Question 5. What do you love to do when you are not blogging?
I love to get out with my family, to visit new places, see the sights. We love to go camping and get away and we're hoping to do it much more this year now LM is getting bigger. I love a good box set as much as the next person and have a particular love for US shows like The Gilmore Girls, The OC and One Tree Hill. I'm something of a foodie and love to eat out and try new restaurants, something I don't get the chance for very much these days! This is the same as the cinema, I was only saying the other day that I used to know all of the new releases and see lots of them too. I wouldn't swap the cinema for a walk with my lovely family though!
That's all of my answers. Feel free to post yours if you like, and tell me if you do!
Eileen from ET Speaks From Home
Collette from We're Going On an Adventure
Danni from It Started With a Squish (if you get time before baby arrives!)
New Flavours from Ryvita Crackerbread
17:59 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments
The two new flavours are Pepper and Cheese. I expected to like both of these and wasn't disappointed. The Pepper flavour offers a subtle hint of heat and spice, I'm a huge fan of pepper and, for me it could have been stronger but it everyone else in the family, who enjoy the flavour less liked it too. The cheese flavour is quite subtle too and this one has been a huge hit with the children and Red Rose Daddy too.
I Promise To, on Mother's Day - A Review
10:26 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments
10 Tips for Spring Cleaning Your Home
11:57 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments
March and April Fun for Mother's Day and the Easter Holidays
15:08 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments
Dunelm have a fab colouring competition in store between 14th and 28th April. Pay £1 for an entry sheet and get your children to colour it in, perhaps while you do some shopping or have a cuppa in store. A great way to keep the kids entertained if they grumble about you shopping, and to raise money for a good cause too as all proceeds will go to Barnado's, the UK’s largest children’s charity, supporting vulnerable children and families nationwide. Lucky winners will receive a cuddly Barney Bear, Barnado's official mascot.
Renshaw Baking want you to bake the most important lady in your life a cake ready for Mother's Day, from 11th to 30th March. If you do so and upload it to their Facebook or G+, or Tweet, all using #bakingmemories so they can keep track of the entries. One lucky winner will receive £100 of Peggy Porschen and £100 of Renshaw vouchers and five runners up will receive the new Peggy Porschen book 'Cakes in Bloom'. Head over to the competition page for more information.
If you have a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fan in your house (I have one, right here) then Flair have a competition for you. Simply take a photo and submit it to one of these three categories - Best Action Figure Battle Scene photograph, Best Ninja Pose photograph and Best Action Figure Battle Scene Video. The winner of eachncategory will receive a fantastic digital camera, a Turtles Mask of their favourite character, a Turtles Shell plus Turtles Signature Weapons of their choice. Five runners up from each category will also win a Turtles Mask and Signature Weapon for their entry. Send your to email@example.com before the closing date of 16th May for your chance to win! All winning entries will be available to view on www.flairplc.co.uk or in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Magazine after 26th June.
Hard Rock Cafe Manchester have two fab celebrations for Mother's Day and Easter planned:
The first is to celebrate Mother’s Day – Breakfast with Mummy (9am – 11am, Sunday 30th March), they are teaming up with Harvey Nichols for a super special Mother's Day treat! Trish McEvoy will be providing beauty consultations and Umberto Giannini will be on hand to style, preen and pamper your hair. All this as well as a full English breakfast and treats to entertain the kiddies: face painting, magic tricks, balloon modelling..
The second is to celebrate Easter – Breakfast with Bunny (9am – 11am, Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th April), Guests are treated to a full English breakfast (cereal and fruit are also available) and there are fun Easter games and special treats for each child. There is a face painter and a magician who will also be balloon modeling. Places are limited so call now to book your place. Children £7.50 and adults £9.00.
Introducing My BritMums Live 2014 Sponsors... Bobux Shoes
12:09 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments
Win a Project B Mum to Be Gift Subscription
22:42 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments
Project B is a monthly box service with a difference. It is tailored to the recipients month of pregnancy, if a mother to be signs up at the start of their pregnancy they will receive seven boxes. Each box is themed specifically for their stage of pregnancy and can be purchased as an individual box or as a subscription. Each box costs £14, including postage.
The boxes are as follows:
Win competitions at ThePrizeFinder.com
Mother's Day Gifts from Gone Crabbing
20:49 Pippa Ainsworth 0 Comments
The Norfolk company sells a really broad range of products, from clothing for children and adults, through homewares, to small pocket money items like keyrings and erasers. The company was started at a kitchen table five years ago by a Norfolk mumpreneur who spotted a gap in the market for high end souvenirs. Colin the Crab was born and is the symbol of the brand and now Gone Crabbing has a wide range of products, two shops- in Burnham Deepdale, Norfolk and Southwold, Suffolk - and a thriving website.
As mentioned the Gone Crabbing range is extensive. With everything from beach towels to baby clothes, pencils to placemats, there is something for every budget. We were sent a mug and a bar of soap as an example of their Mother's Day gifts.
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- Thomas & Friends: Spills & Thrills on DVD
- How to Go About Moving the Kids to London
- Tree Fu Tom Ranger Utility Belt
- Special K Granola - Review and Giveaway
- Pipsy Koala On the Go Booster Seat
- Chill Factor Colour Blast Squeeze Cup Slushy Maker...
- A Trip Down Memory Lane from Fisher-Price Retro Cl...
- The Outtakes #1 - Sport Relief
- Tractor Ted Fun Day - Spring Printables
- Styles for All the Family: What to Wear to a Sprin...
- Mother's Day Gifts from Me to You
- Find the Perfect Mother's Day Gift
- Tractor Ted's Activity Book 2
- Blog Your Heart Out
- Silent Sunday and My Sunday Photo 16/03/2014
- New Flavours from Ryvita Crackerbread
- I Promise To, on Mother's Day - A Review
- 10 Tips for Spring Cleaning Your Home
- March and April Fun for Mother's Day and the Easte...
- Introducing My BritMums Live 2014 Sponsors... Bobu...
- Win a Project B Mum to Be Gift Subscription
- Mother's Day Gifts from Gone Crabbing
- 5 Great Spring Activities For Your Kids
- Win with Forever Friends for Mother's Day
- New Maternity Massage Oil From Weleda - Giveaway
- Silent Sunday and My Sunday Photo 0/03/2014
- A Trip to the Isle of Naboombu or a Flight of Fanc...
- Little Miss is Eighteen Months Old
- Win a Cusson's Mum to Be Mother's Day Gift
- A Trip to the Pampers Factory
- New Soothers from Tommee Tippee
- The Return of Zoe and Beans
- New Shoes for Bud, from Bobux - A Review
- The Miles Kelly Secret World Book Day Project
- Silent Sunday and My Sunday Photo 02/03/2014
- Jelly Jamm Toys and Giveaway
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