Friday, 30 March 2012

Making Easter Nests at Nanny's

Today the boys enjoyed making some Easter Nests, it was a fun and easy activity suggested by nanny.  It was a perfect filler for a quieter day of our holidays and great to get us in the mood for Easter.

For this you need:

400g bar of Cadburys
6 Shredded Wheat Biscuits
A Packet of Cadburys Mini Eggs

(Made 10 nests)

Such a simple recipe but I assure you the end result was very tasty, the hardest part was trying to stop Grandad from eating the chocolate and mini eggs...

First using brute force bash the shredded wheat biscuits to oblivion (ideally inside a sandwich bag to minimise mess!)

Melt chocolate in a bowl over a pan of hot water

Add the bashed up Shredded Wheat

Stir until covered in chocolate

Then fill a cake case with a nest shape of the chocolaty mix

Add some chocolate eggs (the more the merrier!)

Then leave to chill in the fridge for an hour

Hey presto you have an almost life like nest!  Your very lucky I managed to get a photograph as they were chomped up pretty quickly, the boys did great!  We normally only ever make Rice Krispies variants of this, but Shredded Wheat is our new definite favourite!

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Horrid Henry DVD Review and Competition

We were sent a copy of Horrid Henry The Purple Hand Gang Rules Ok! DVD to review.  Eldest found it very appealing with talk of messy bedrooms and exploding crisp packets.  They are very real characters, but still find the time to be nice and helpful to mum, in the first episode Harry imagines getting a scooter so he can help his mum with her shopping.

I like it that they are wearing helmets when using scooters, makes them more readily accepted by my boys.  As I know some mums who have trouble getting their children to wear helmets.

Packaging Design © 2012 Novel Entertainment Ltd and Abbey Home Media Group Ltd. All rights reserved. TM & © Novel Entertainment Limited 2012.
Based on the books by Francesca Simon. Illustrated by Tony Ross and published by Orion Children's Books.

We took the DVD on our trip to Nanny's house.  Youngest watched it and then wondered about, playing with the dogs and nosing about, so it did not hold his attention very long.  Although he did enjoy dancing to the theme tune.  But I do think its best pitched for children 4+.  Eldest said it was "great" and happily watched all six episodes in one sitting.

You can purchase a copy for £4.99 of this Horrid Henry release from AmazonSo a great treat for the mischievous imps in your family.

I have been given 5 copies to giveaway if you would like a chance to win one then please fill in the rafflecopter below.  The competition will close on the 11th of April.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

RAA RAA The Noisy Lion DVD Review

We were sent this lovely DVD set which came with a little RAA RAA figure.  I think he made a fantastic accompaniment to the DVD.  It was released on the 26th of March so you can also buy your own copy now.

The boys quickly settled down to watch it, youngest especially loves Lions and RAAING so he was enjoying the moment.  The DVD includes 8 episodes so a must purchase for any fan of the show or a lover of lions.  Raa Raa also has a wonderful gang of friends: Topsy the giraffe, Huffty the elephant, Crocky the crocodile, Zebby the zebra and Ooo Ooo, the cheeky little monkey.  So you will find you child well catered for whichever animal they like best!

I am surprised this set only costs £6.49 from Amazon, which is something of a bargain considering you get the entertainment of the show and the excitement of the figure.  Having their own figure means they can be more interactive watching the show too, it all comes more to life for them.

Youngest (after he managed to get a look in from eldest wanting it!) loved it so much he wanted to tuck it in bed with him, until he decided it was too hard so he put it on his shelf to watch him sleeping.

The DVD is housed in a cardboard sleeve rather than a plastic DVD case but this did not bother me as I would rather money is saved on packaging if it means my boys get a fun toy included.  So far its bearing up quite nicely in the cardboard sleeve anyway.  And this is coming from a house with two boys who are far from delicate!

You can follow RAA RAA on facebook too!

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Grandpa overindulges

We have kindly taken Grandpa away with us on holiday.  Luckily he is fairly portable and travels light.  I made him leave all his Barbara Windsor memorabilia at home.

He enjoyed his visit to Paultons Park but after all that brave talk in his bucket list about walking on fire and skydiving, he did not find the courage to go on Magma and left me to ride solo!  I think his main concern was his false teething flying out...

He did like Peppa Pig World though!

Today we went out for Sunday lunch, he was making light work of the Chocolate Fudge Cake, enjoying it very much...

But his eyes were bigger than his belly and he collapsed from cake overload!

But rest assured he made a quick recovery and on doctors orders resumed his exercise regime with a late night canter on his pet Zebra.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Magma VIP Launch at Paultons Park

Today I went to my very first official event since starting blogging almost four months ago.  I was a press guest at the VIP launch of Magma at Paultons Park.  The ride officially opens on the 31st of March, so you only have to wait a short week before you can experience it for yourself!  Until then you can read more here to whet your appetite.

I must admit I was feeling slightly weak in the knees at the thought of going on Magma, labelled as the hot new ride for 2012.  It looked very high and I do not have the best head for heights anymore (okay I am just a huge wimp!).  But I could not let my followers down, how could I possibly comment on the ride without experiencing it first hand.  Hubbie watched from the sidelines chomping cake with the boys, whilst I trembled like a jelly approaching the ride.  Given that the ride is for those aged 5+ (Minimum height 1.1m) I did feel a little lame for being such a scaredy cat!  Especially watching other children walking over filled with confidence!!!

The volcano inspired cakes!

I am so glad that I went on the ride, the views of the park are fantastic.  It was a real adrenaline pumping experience, that really got my heart racing!   I think possibly I should have saved cake eating till after the ride as my stomach plummeted...  I was expecting some actual fire effects but there was plenty of smoke, but to be honest fire would be wasted anyway as your too focused on admiring the view or clinging on to the contents of your stomach as it leaps about.


Some impressive dinosaur hedges near Magma, to the hedge trimmer/designer at Paultons Park I salute you!  

Would I recommend this ride? hell yes!!!  If the children had not been begging to see Peppa Pig World I am sure I would have spent longer at the ride.  There is so much to see at Paultons Park by the time we had returned to Magma the park was closing.  We all have had an absolutely amazing day out.  Some little touches at Paultons really impressed me, like toilets having built in toilet seats for toddlers, each bathroom having a toddler height sink so they could reach to wash their own hands.  I know some people will just rave about the big bits, the flash new rides but I really did like the little touches they have obviously put so much thought into!  Well done Paultons Park!

About the event generally...

I loved having my own lanyard to wear as did hubbie and the boys.  But I do wish I had not been quite so clueless.  A lovely organiser type from the event asked where are you from? I answer Wales... then realise he meant my blog name... later the same kind man who youngest insisted on calling "boy", much to his amusement, offered to help hubbie download a Paultons Park App on our iphone.  Slight stumbling block, neither of us own a smartphone.  We have yet to join the 21st century, hubbie felt slightly embarrassed brandishing a mobile phone from the dark ages.

Note to self: save up for a iphone and purchase a fancy notepad to look the part!

Friday, 23 March 2012

Peanut & Pip Competition

The lovely lady behind the Peanut & Pip online store has kindly offered a gorgeous Skip Hop Hug & Hide Activity Bear as a prize.  Normally this handsome fella would set you back £16.95.  So this is a competition not to be missed and one that will make a child somewhere very happy indeed!  I am just sulking, as I want one for myself!

Peanut & Pip are a lovely site for some unique and special presents for any occasion.  My boys’ godmummy has bought them gifts from here before and I must say they were over the moon with them.  Just revisiting the site, I am sorely tempted by most of the products.

My favourite would be the djeco products such as the Collages for little ones craft kit to help my boys get creative, I am sure it was a set similar to that we were sent from my friend and the boys relished the activity and their masterpieces were displayed proudly on the wall of my eldest, until he went through his I do not like posters/pictures on my wall when I am sleeping stage, bless him!  It kept them occupied for ages and everything was included in lovely little envelopes, so a nice novelty for them.

This competition will close on the 14th of April, so to enter please fill in the rafflecopter below.

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Thursday, 22 March 2012

Belated Mothers Day Meme

all-in-onemum tagged me to answer some questions about being a mum, as always I am just a little fashionably late but here I am at last.

Describe Motherhood in 3 Words

Tiring, loving, rollercoaster

Does your experience differ from your Mother's and how?

My mum says I am a great mum and a pants housewife.  She says I give them more time and attention than she gave me, but I always felt loved and happy, so she might have been wrong.  But she is right about my approach to housework!!!

What is the hardest thing about being a Mum?

Always judging yourself, feeling you could do it different or better.  Surviving on little sleep and mainly seeing your children poorly or sad, that breaks my heart.

What's the best thing about being a Mum?

Seeing your children grow and thrive, watching them experience new things and see their eyes gleam with the magic of it and eating cake at children’s parties…

How has it changed you?

I have more white hairs, more wrinkles and worry lines but much more fun!  I also value lie-ins so much more now!

What do you hope for your children?

To have long happy lives, filled with exciting opportunities and adventures.  Making lots of great friends along the way, feeling loved and contented and fulfilling their dreams whatever they might be.

What do you fear for them?

Everything, I am a constant worrier, but I will do my best to protect them (I am a karate expert in training!)

What makes it all worthwhile?

They do, the smiles, the hugs, their raw delight and wonderment in life (plus the baked goods help too!)

Dalani Home & Living - Twin Competition

You may be like me and have not yet heard of Dalani, but I have a feeling that will soon change.  I love the idea of flash sales and being an exclusive member of an online shopping club.  It all sounds very fancy!  But membership is free and you can start enjoying up to 70% off manufacturers’ RRP straight away, so it’s affordable for everyone. 
The daily newsletter lets you know which bargains are imminent.  Conveniently it only takes a couple of seconds to register and you will get a £15 voucher for your efforts.  I cannot say fairer than that.  If those reasons alone were not enough to tempt you to join then there are also a couple of very enticing competitions to lure you in.

The first Competition is exclusive to my blog and you can win a £50 voucher.  To take part you simply sign up to Dalani and answer the following question what is the name of the brand in the sale at the top of the Dalani homepage?  Email the answer to myself with Dalani as the subject header.

This competition will close on the 02.04.2012 at 9AM

The second competition has a prize of £250 Dalani vouchers.  To enter visit the website Dalani Home & Living and let me know as a comment what you would buy if you won to revamp a particular room.

I would pick the Alexander rose acacia tea for two set (some new garden furniture might give hubbie the kick he needs to sort out our poor garden) and some candles to help create a romantic mood!  If that fails I would add a few decorating books (like New D├ęcor by Elizabeth Wilhide) to pass my time instead…

Dalani will select 2 winners from all the comments received across the 36 participating blogs taking part and they will win a £250 voucher

Competition 2 Closing Date: 02.04.2012 at 9AM

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£50 Experience Days Voucher Competition

I have kindly been allowed to run a competition where one follower will win a £50 voucher for Experience Days.  I have been having a good nose on their website and I am impressed with what they have on offer, as tired stressed mums you could possibly put it towards pamper days.  Myself I quite fancy the afternoon tea for two.  That would suit my cake addiction quite nicely!

But if you’re like to get your adrenaline pumping, then there are plenty of activities to suit, for example indoor skydiving, off road taster session and bungee Catapult all within the £50 prize value.  Or you can even choose the Fire and Broken Glass Walking, which might make the perfect present for someone your not as fond of!!!

Some of the experiences would make lovely gifts.  For my boys when they are much older a falconry experience would be amazing.  Something like that children would remember fondly forever and works out considerably cheaper and less stressful than planning a party for a class of 30 boisterous children…

The website is easy to navigate, I like that you can search on numerous categories, which means its quick to find the perfect experience for yourself or as a gift.  Once you select an experience your interested in, lots of very helpful information is included, like what to wear, duration of activity and so fourth.

The competition will close on the 12th of April, to enter please fill out the rafflecopter form below.

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Glamorous Nails for the Yummy Mummy

My friend is sharing some more beauty tips with my followers.

First ensure you have clean nails

Using an old bowl fill with water and drop a small amount of chosen nail varnish

Keep adding small drops into the center of the last colour, the colours will slowy spread out

Like this

Using a pointy object very very gently pull the varnish across from one side of the bowl to the other (dont put the object deep in the water it has to be very lightly over the top)

Here we go

Wrap the skin around the nail in sellotape and dip the nail in very slowly

Take off sellotape and finish with a clear top coat

Enjoy your fancy new nails!!!

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Making Glove Puppets

We were sent some rubber gloves and some craft supplies (pom poms, googly eyes and thread) from Dettol to illustrate the fact you do not need rubber gloves with their new Power and Pure cleaning range (thanks to Mumsnet for letting me also review these fantastic new products!). 

I do not know why I have not made glove puppet monsters before, as it’s so simple and keeps children occupied for ages.  Supply copious amounts of glue, glitter and anything else they can stick on to create their own character.  Let their imaginations run wild. 

Youngest found the left over supplies from his Cubby Kit quite helpful to complete his monsters new look!

Deep in concentration, serious business this crafting lark!

The end result, waiting to dry after serious glue work

Youngest loves his two new friends!  Although they have left a glittery trail all around the house... but that's a small price to pay for this happy cheeky face!

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Eggs Book Review

We were sent this lovely little book by b small publishing, which has an RRP of £3.99 and comes with an egg stencil incorporated into the front cover and stickers for decorating inside the book. So you really get plenty for the price of one chocolate egg! Even as a renowned chocoholic I know I would prefer a book that would last and last as opposed to a chocolate egg I would devour in one sitting!

This is the perfect treat for your children so you can enjoy some egg crafting and cooking activities in the run up to Easter.  Today the boys attempted the Waxy eggs. 

You draw on the egg with a white wax crayon, and then you fill a cup with water, a teaspoon of vinegar (we didn’t have any and substituted for wine… but as you will find out that still seemed to work!!!) and some drops of food colouring.

My boys idea of some was more like half the bottle of blue food colouring but I love seeing them get crafting, so despite my hands being very smurf like right now, I enjoyed watching them getting involved and being excited creating something. Then you add the egg to the cup and leave as long as you desire depending on how dark you want your egg. Our boys managed to wait a few minutes (bribed with their pudding!) before removing them.

I love the end result, the white wax crayon remains and you can see their delicate artwork! 

Eldest drew one of his friends.

Youngest did some artistic scribbles.

What I like best about this book is it gives you the ideas to try something different with your children. There are plenty of other great suggestions (making greeting cards, chocolate eggs and a hen mobile to name a few) and am sure we will be returning to this book again and again over the next few weeks.

You can see more about b small publishing and purchase the book from Amazon for only £3.69!

Monday, 19 March 2012

The Dinosaur Train Review

My boys were sent a review DVD of this great new children’s show which recently arrived on Nick JR.  When it comes to kids shows hubbie and I usually feign mild interest and watch the boys bubble with excitement, but we both thought it was terrific.  I have found a reason to keep Sky now.  This programme kept the boys sat still next to each other for the entire 22 minutes, not a peep or a sound, just absolute focus, they could have been Jedi warriors in training (or possibly slightly worn out after their epic mothers day baking session with daddy!).  I was so impressed, I did not even get up to my usual tricks and get some photographic proof, I just enjoyed watching it with them.

The Dinosaur Train is a Jim Henson Company animation, which speaks volumes; you know your going to get something pretty special from the company behind The Muppets.  The animation is pretty spectacular and a very welcome change to either Mickey Mouse for youngest or Ben 10 for the eldest.

The characters are also very likeable, Buddy the lead is a curious, funny and intelligent T-Rex living in a family of Pteranodons, but you also get the opportunity to meet lots of other dinosaurs too.  I also like the underlying theme that whatever we look like you can be readily accepted, as when Buddy pops out of the egg, they embrace him as part of their family, despite him looking completely different.  It is a good message for our children that everyone comes in different shapes and sizes and should be loved regardless. 

Aimed at children 3-6 it really does engage them, plenty to learn and question as Buddy goes off looking for answers.  The programme has been tailor made by paleontologists, science educators and early childhood education experts, yet your children will be having so much fun, I do not think they will realise just how much they are learning. 

We will definitely be adding The Dinosaur Train to our Sky+, as the boys (okay and me!) would be sad if we missed an episode.  We are looking forward to our next dinosaur adventure.

Head over to the Nick Jr. website and find out more or tune in tomorrow at 4pm

Sunday, 18 March 2012

The Never Ending Plait

No it’s not a new take on the film Never Ending Story this is an opportunity for any mummy of girls to learn some fabulous hair tips.  My friend is somewhat of a hair goddess; she is also the one who brought you Fighting Nits the Glam Girl Way. 

My friend must have magic hands or something because as you will see she works wonders on her girls’ hair and they look beautiful.  She has kindly shared how to do it with me so you can recreate it at home in an easy (well she manages to make it look easy in her pictures) step by step guide

For this style hair does need to be shoulder length and you need to brush out all knots in preparation for the hair styling handiwork.

Take a piece of hair from the middle and tie with an elastic band (hair bobbles make the hair stick up too much).  This part does not have to be neat as you will not be able to see it.  Brush again to make sure theres no knots.

Start by doing an ordinary braid.  Each time the strand crosses down toward the shoulders take a small piece from the front and add to the braid.

Each time you take a strand up take from by the neck
Continue this all around the head making sure you only take small stands

Keep going

And going

And going

Nearly there

When you come to the end tie tight using an elastic band

Take the plait and gently push through the pieces that have been pulled down

“Perfect, hate seeing them poor kids after swimming with soaking wet backs good luck and dont worry it will take a few goes"