Thursday, 9 November 2017

LOGO DESIGN FOR BEGINNERS! - LOGOJOY REVIEW

I've had my blog for just over 3 years now and it has always been a hobby. I love writing about what we get up to as a family and it will be lovely to look back on when the kids are older. When I set it up, I used a free theme from blogger as my back ground and my logo was something I created in PicMonkey using some of my favourite photos and a particular font I liked. 

As with most things, my blog has evolved over time and I'm now looking at updating my theme and logo to match our life right now. When the blog was set up, we only had Elliot but obviously now we have Erin too so I'd like to incorporate her as well as it looking more streamlined. 

The first thing I would like to update is my logo as this is obviously the first thing people see when they land on my page. Not having a clue about graphic design, I was recommended to try out Logojoy. Another blogger claimed they could create a logo in under 10 minutes so I was keen to see what they could do for a not-very-creative person like me! 

The first step is to enter your blog name - easy peasy! The next page brings up a grid of logos which were all created by Logojoy and you are asked to click on 5 that you like the look of. This gives the generator an idea of what you like. Next is colour combinations - you can skip this step but I chose blues and purples for mine. 





The next step is to pick up to five symbols for your logo. You can search for specific ones like family or parenting and then this will give you more options at the top such as children, kids, community etc. 



The next page will generate some logos for you featuring your business name and symbols if you decided to use any. Once you click on your favourite, it will give you the option of tweaking with the colours, font and layout. 



Once you have decided on your logo and purchased it, you have access to all the files you need such as PNG and JPG. 

I have to say, I was mega impressed with how simple it was to create a logo. As you can see from the picture above, my logo is alot different to my current blog header pic and I really like how clean and simple it looks.  I'm going to spend a bit of time tweaking it until I'm 100% happy but the logo above was created in under ten minutes so it is possible to knock something up in that little time! 

My logo was created using the Premium package ($65) but see here for more options. 










Friday, 27 October 2017

Andy & The Odd Socks Launch Show - London October 2017


If you have children of a certain age you'll no doubt be familiar with Andy Day from CBeebies. You've probably seen him having dinosaur adventures, or presenting from the CBeebies House. But did you know he can sing?!

Andy and his band, the Odd Socks are due to release their debut album next month and this week they played a series of gigs in London and Nottingham to kick off their album launch. The tickets were like gold dust but we managed to snap some up the minute they went on sale...phew!

The album "Who Invited This Lot?" is actually a rerelease, we picked up a copy back in 2015 and it has been in our car on repeat ever since. However, Andy has since been joined by his amazingly talented Odd Socks band and the track listing has had a bit of a tweak. There's Moxy on drums, Rio on guitar, Blu on bass and the especially bonkers Random Keith on keys. This time round they mean business!

Showtime

We left Dorset nice and early, picking up my Mum along the way and after a couple of wee breaks, several snacks, a magazine bribery and of course, some singing to the Odd Socks we arrived in Richmond and couldn't wait for the show. Elliot had been asking me "Is it time to see Andy yet?" from around 630am so you could say he was getting excited!

We actually spotted Andy whilst we were having our lunch and Elliot yelled "HELLO ANDY!!!!!!" across the car park...such a quiet child ;)

Soon it was time to take our seats, and the advantage of arriving nice and early meant we had the best seats in the house. Slap bang in the middle of the front row, we almost felt like we were part of the show!

#1 Fan!
Before the show started, the band came out and were interacting with the crowd - Random Keith was checking for odd socks and fortunately Elliot wasn't wearing a matching pair! The band are all very talented but they are also really great with the children, taking time to chat and answer questions.

Suddenly, the lights dimmed and it was time.....Andy bounced onto stage with his infectious grin and the band launched into Aliens, one of the catchiest songs you will ever hear! (I guarantee once you have heard it you will be singing "Look out! Look out! There's aliens about!" forever more!)


Running through songs such as Unique, Battle Robot Rapper, Groovy Hoover, Ninja Pig and Elliot's fave, the Dinosaur Football Legend Mega Match , every song was a hit with the audience. Just like at Camp Bestival, the Dinosaur song came with big footballs that were bouncing around the crowd but this time round, there was even a dinosaur! I'm not sure it was intentional but Random Keith who was in the costume, fell over and popped his head up from the dinosaur's middle...it looked a bit like the dino was giving birth to Keith, very funny!



We were even treated to a rendition of Ghostbusters, one of the new songs to be on the album and just in time for Halloween. The band came out in the their Ghostbuster costumes and the kids loved it, I certainly loved having a singalong!


Before we knew it, the show was over but not before a quick encore of Aliens..complete with little green men!


After the show, we queued up to meet Andy and the band and Elliot said he wanted to get a selfie. I wasn't sure how successful that was going to be so I loitered behind with my camera!!

Elliot was pleased when Andy said "This is Elliot, he's been to all our shows!" and it made his day when the band said they'd seen him on YouTube. They were all so sweet to him and he has been talking about ever since! Elliot did indeed attempt a selfie but his arms weren't quite long enough so Random Keith had to step in and help and we got a brilliant photo. Erin even got in it too although my mum handed her to Andy and he wondered whose baby she was!!

Sorry Blu, Erin has blocked your face! 


Andy and The Odd Socks say they are the greatest children's band ever (according to their mums!) and we would definitely agree. We had a brilliant time at the show and can't wait for the next one!


You can pre-order the album here or find out more at http://andyandtheoddsocks.co.uk/

Sunday, 22 October 2017

FISHER PRICE THINK & LEARN TEACH 'N TAG MOVI - REVIEW


My husband has always been into gadgets and this has passed onto Elliot - he's fascinated by robots and how things work. Sometimes we get products to review that are completely up our street, and the Fisher Price Think & Learn Teach 'N Tag Movi was one of them!

Aimed at children between 3-6 years old, Movi gets kids moving and learning along with him. On first impressions, Movi looks brilliant! He has big chunky wheels on each side, a large "face" screen (featuring over 60 different faces!) and easy to press buttons on his head and tummy.

It was nice and simple to set him up - we literally just took him out of the box, clipped in the back wheel and he was good to go. Batteries are included too so he's ready to start talking straight away!

The big chunky wheels mean that Movi can be used on carpets and smooth floors and he has 360 degree mobility.


Movi features 3 play modes:

  • Alpha Fun Actions
  • Think & Move Shapes
  • Learn & Play Games
Alpha Fun Actions features the fantastic animal actions games where children can learn the alphabet whilst learning more about their favourite animals. Movi will say phrases such as " B, Bear! Paws up in the air! Now growl like a bear!". This was probably Elliot's favourite game - he especially liked slithering along the floor like a wiggling worm! 

Excuse the blurred shot...this worm was fast!
In Think & Move Shapes, Movi will ask questions about different shapes and encourage the child to move around with him making the shape. 

Learn & Play features the Red Light Green Light game - just keep moving til you see the red light! 

All together there are 6 different games to play and the brilliant thing is, each game will encourage your child to get up and get moving whilst using their brains. Movi will help them learn important skills such as following directions and critical thinking. 


I'm all for kids getting active and I think Movi is a fab way of incorporating exercise into fun and learning. It was impossible for Elliot to stay still once Movi was switched on and he absolutely loved doing all the games and actions! 

At almost, 5, Elliot is nearer the top end of the age range and while he enjoyed playing with Movi,  I think the games are suited for younger children. He loved the animal games but kept asking if Movi could move any quicker! Erin (9 months) is well under the age bracket but she's crawling now and has enjoyed shuffling along behind Movi. I think as she gets older, she will be the one benefiting the most from the educational side of the robot. 

Think & Learn Teach 'N Tag Movi has an RRP of £44.99 (however is on offer at Smyths Toy Store for £39.99 at the moment!)


*Disclaimer - We were sent this item in exchange for an honest review. All views are my own


Monday, 16 October 2017

SPOOKY SEAS AT WEYMOUTH SEALIFE ADVENTURE PARK

If you're heading down to Weymouth Sealife Adventure Park this half term, you might find some spooky surprises! From Saturday 21st October - Sunday 29th October, the Spooky Seas event is on - you will have the opportunity to come face to face with creepy creatures including Spider Crabs, Batfish, Dead Man's Fingers and Scorpion Fish.

The Sealife Park will also welcome back Zelda the Enchantress who resides in her creepy enchanted cabin, tucked away in the wetlands. Little visitors will get the chance to make some spooky slime with her plus take part in a pumpkin hunt, spooky fact finding, creepy crafts and a yucky dip. And of course, costumes are welcome!

We visited the Sealife Park again over the weekend and got a sneaky preview of Zelda in her cabin before she's officially open from the 21st. The cabin looks great, very authentic with it's pumpkins and cobweb covered trees. You'd definitely know a witch lives there! Inside the walls are covered in cobwebs and the shelves are filled with potions, spiders and other witchy bits and bobs. Her cauldron sits in the corner bubbling away.


Once inside, she helped Elliot make some spooky sticky slime - this was the perfect activity for him, he loves slime! I personally hate the stuff so I'm glad he was getting her tablecloth messy and not mine ;) There was a quick photo opportunity and then it was time to say farewell to Zelda.


Elliot was able to take the slime with him in a pot but just a little warning...it's so sticky and the lids don't fit on the pots very well so make sure it doesn't come loose in your bag. He also left with totally covered sticky hands so we had to head straight to the toilets to clean up!

We decided to head straight over to Caribbean Cove after our Zelda encounter. This play area is one of the best I've seen and Elliot was so excited to be let loose on the equipment! Handily there is a Costa and picnic benches so I was able to sit and relax with a hot chocolate while he played.

We also bumped into some friends who joined us and the kids had a whale of a time playing in the play area. Elliot even managed to master the fireman's pole!

spot the slime!
We spent the rest of the afternoon exploring the park and I even had to extend our car park ticket as we were having so much fun! My highlight was the ocean tunnel which can be found in the Turtle Sanctuary Zone. It was amazing seeing all the fish and turtles swimming above our heads. Erin was transfixed!


Elliot really enjoyed the rock pools and was able to stroke a starfish. The park was nice and quiet so he was able to take his time and he spent quite a while with his arm dunked in the pools!


Thank you Sealife Adventure Park Weymouth, we had a brilliant day out! 



For more information and ticket prices, visit the website: https://www.visitsealife.com/weymouth/


SCHLEICH DINOSAUR RANGE - SKULL TRAP & VELOCIRAPTOR REVIEW

We are big fans of the Schleich toys and they have featured many times on the blog. Most recently we reviewed the brand new Thor figure from the Marvel range. Our next item to review was the Large Skull Trap with Velociraptor - a fantastic toy, perfect for any little dinosaur fans! This one was right up Elliot's street, he is obsessed with dinosaurs and has literally played with this everyday since it arrived!



The trap is a large dinosaur skull which has a moveable jaw that can be adjusted to open in two positions. When you press the snout, the trap snaps shut! I'm not an expert on dinosaurs but it looks pretty lifelike to me and even comes with a full set of teeth. These may look sharp but they are actually made of soft plastic which makes the skull nice and safe to play with and with no risk of getting nipped by a dinosaur.

The skull comes with a fearsome velociraptor who has moveable arms (and extra sharp claws!), along with a Compsognathus (a two legged carnivore around the size of a pheasant) and a small lizard.

As with all Schleich toys, the quality is outstanding and the dinosaurs and skull are so well made. The figures are all handpainted and feature so much detail, like the pattens on the back of the velociraptor.

Elliot has had lots of fun playing with this set and really enjoys getting all his dinosaur figures out and pitting them against the skull to see who gets trapped!



The Skull Trap is £24.99 and can be purchased from www.schleich-s.co.uk

*Disclaimer - We were sent these items in return for an honest review. All views are my own

Monday, 2 October 2017

Erin at 9 Months Old

I had good intentions of blogging baby updates for Erin but the I only managed one at 5 weeks old - how slack is that! She's 9 months now so things have moved on alot since those early newborn days!

I'm never sure of the best way to do these baby updates but I've taken inspiration from The Mummy Stylist and used some of her headers to make for easier reading!

So here we go...

How is Erin....

Weight/Size - I haven't had her weighed at the clinic in a few weeks but I popped her on our scales the other day and she was just over 20lb. She certainly feels a lot heavier when I'm lugging her around in the carseat!

Clothes wise she's still in her 6-9 month outfits but she has so many lovely things in 9-12 months so I'm looking forward to putting her in those. Lots of cat and bunny prints!

Food: 
Oh my god, she certainly loves her food!! Her bottles have decreased rapidly over the last week and she now only has one at around 3pm and one at bedtime. She's on 3 meals a day, plus snacks and has taken to baby led weaning like a duck to water. She loves having a weetabix for brekkie, plus some fruit. Lunchtime is normally a dairylea sandwich or crumpet with some veggie sticks/cheese/breadsticks/fruit. For dinner she generally has the same as us but sometimes I make pizza pinwheels - I found the recipe on Pinterest and she loves them. I like the fact you can put anything in there! I usually put peppers, ham, mushroom and cheese. (The only problem is my husband loves them too so there's never any leftovers!)



Sleep
She's a great little sleeper and has been sleeping through since around 8 weeks. I cut out the night time bottles pretty quickly so if she does wake up, I can normally just sooth her back to sleep. Although I'm not opposed to having her in our bed if she's unsettled - I love the cuddles! Up until recently she was in a crib next to our bed but she got way too big for it and was bashing her head everytime she rolled over. So last week we finally finished clearing the spare room and we dug Elliot's cot out of the garage for her to have. She looks so small in it! Wake up time is usually around 630-7 but it depends if Elliot's up early - he's got an annoying habit of waking her up. Sometimes he doesn't mean to, but him yelling "I need a wee! I'm going for a wee!" and turning all the lights on generally wakes everyone up ;) I just bring her into our bed and have a cuddle before we get up for brekkie around 715am.


Naptimes are a bit hit or miss - it really depends where we are and what we're doing. She usually has a short one around 930am (especially if shes awake early), then another around lunchtime (maybe 45-60mins) and then sometimes another one just before tea around 430pm. She loves falling asleep in the car but I have been known to get the buggy out of the garage to rock her to sleep if she's fighting the nap!

Development
She's almost crawling - she gets up on her knees and does a funny rocking motion! She also does a kind of commando crawl backwards. She certainly gets around though despite not crawling properly, she's super fast at spinning and rolling! Just yesterday she has started to pull herself onto her knees and has finally figured out how to get down on her belly from a sitting position.

She babbles alot and sometimes it sounds alot like dadadada or mumumumumum but it's hard to tell if this is literally just baby babble or her trying to say words! She's very vocal - especially when she's in the trolley in the supermarket, that's her favourite time to shout!!

She has 4 teeth (top and bottom front ones) but I think she has another on the way because there's alot of dribble. She won't let us see though, and I dare anyone to put their fingers near those chompers!



Her hair is growing and seems to be getting darker. Sometimes it sticks up in a little quiff and a few people have called her TinTin!

What We Have Done
I have to admit, I've not been quite as enthusiastic about getting out to baby classes this time around. Sorry Erin, second child syndrome and all that! We do swimming lessons each week though and she really enjoys that. I have also booked us onto a baby music class for the next few weeks. We went to a trial one last month and she loved it!

Aside from the structured baby activity classes, we see our friends regularly. We're off to the farm tomorrow and we have a few playdates lined up with just the younger siblings which will be nice.

How Am I?
Busy....always busy! I'd forgotten how much time a baby can take up and I do struggle to fit everything in sometimes. Blogging has taken a backseat, and I'm a bit behind on my actual work - working at the laptop with a baby is harder than I thought!
Happy in general though, I love being a Mum and we are lucky to have a brilliant close knit group of friends that we see alot :)

What about Elliot? 
 I absolutely adore seeing the bond grow between Elliot and Erin! She loves her big brother and it's so sweet when he makes her laugh. He has never shown any jealousy towards her and just loves being in her company. He can't wait for her to wake up in the mornings!


What Erin Likes at 9 months:

Food - especially those Heinz baby biscuits, she can't get enough of those...
Swimming lessons with Turtle Tots
Her big brother making her laugh
Attention from anyone and everyone - she grins and stares at everybody we see until they notice her!
Teletubbies
Clapping her hands and squealing
Elliot's plastic toolbox - especially the spirit level
Taking things out of a bowl/box...and putting them back in again
Bathtime
Being tickled

What Erin Dislikes at 9 Months:

Having her face wiped
Getting changed, especially when I try and put her arms into things!
Not getting any attention!
Being strapped into her carseat
Running out of food
Waiting for food to cool down
Waiting for bottles to be made


Stay tuned for another update....probably when she's about 15 at the rate I'm going!

Linking up with...
“Our

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Steaks, Slimming and the End of Summer! #LittleLoves

Well I can't believe it's 1st October already - where did Summer go?! We've been so busy recently with days out and then Elliot starting reception but things are settling down now and I'm hoping to have more time to blog. I have so much I want to write about but never enough hours in the day!

Anyway, I'm kicking off October with a Little Loves post, where I look back at all the things I've loved this week.

Read


Sadly not had a chance to read any of my books this week (my Kindle thinks I've deserted him I'm sure!) but the children have had some new books which we have read. And read again. And again...!

Current fave in the house is Oi Cat by Kes Gray and Jim Field


If your kids have never read these books, I urge you to ASAP!! This is the third in the series (Oi Frog and Oi Dog) and they are just so funny. Elliot loves this one and he's even started to read some of the words himself which is great!

Watched


My guilty pleasure at the moment is Celebs Go Dating on E4 and I'm gutted this series is over now! It became a bit of a routine to catch up on the previous nights episode when Erin had her bottle. Going to have to find something else to watch now!

"Celebs" Go Dating

We've also enjoyed watching Bear Grylls, The Island. My husband says he fancies doing something like that but I just couldn't, I like my home comforts too much. Not to mention the lack of food situation!

Heard

My favourite song at the mo is Walk on Water by 30 Seconds to Mars - so good to have the band doing new music after so long! It's been ages since I saw them live so really hoping there's some UK dates lined up this year.


Made

I'm back on Slimming World now so I've been making lots of yummy healthy meals for the family. I'm not a great cook so I like simple recipes but I've recently discovered JD Seasonings. They sell packets of seasonings that are all Slimming World friendly and the recipes on the packets are all pretty idiot proof! I love the steak rub - my husband can't believe I'm on a diet yet still eat steak!


Wore
I'm still in my Summer clothes and haven't quite managed to put away the flip flops just yet - they aren't too practical when it rains though...!! I haven't bought any clothes for myself in ages but instead the kids have had some lovely new bits recently. Halloween is coming up and I've got them both outfits, couldn't resist picking up these tshirts too. I got them both one so they'll be matching!

And Lastly...

Like I mentioned previously, it's been nice to get back into a routine now Elliot has started school. last week was his first week of doing full days and so far so good, he is loving it! He even got his first bit of homework on Friday and has been telling us all about the phonics he's learnt. It's changed abit since my time at first school...anyone else remember Annie Apple and Munching Mike?!

Too cool to walk with Mum ;)


Little Loves Coffee Work Sleep Repeat

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...