Sunday, 21 August 2016

Elliot's Farm to Fork Adventure at Tesco

Back in 2014 Tesco launched the Eat Happy Project and since then they have been encouraging children to learn more about food and where it comes from. 

This week Elliot and some of his friends got the chance to go behind the scenes at their local Tesco and go on one of the Farm to Fork trails that lots of Tesco stores are now offering. 

We met with the lovely Fearne who works as the Community Champion and she gave all the children a Farm to Fork vest and little hat. Unfortunately she made us Mums wear a hat too ;) 

We started the tour by heading into the bakery and the children were shown how the bread was mixed - they all had a good look in the giant mixers! They were able to hold some dough to see what it felt like and they were shown the large ovens where all the bread gets baked. 

They ended the bakery tour by sampling some bread and some freshly made pancakes - cue big smiles all around! 

We moved onto the cheese counter and Fearne produced 4 big plates piled high with cubes of cheese - we had a Red Leicester, Cheddar, Applewood Smoked and a cheddar that had spring onion in it. This proved to be a really popular stop on the tour, especially for the mums! I love cheese but the spring onion one was a new one for me and really yummy, I'm going to have to look out for it next time I do my shopping. 

Say cheeeeese!
Next up was a browse at the fish counter and the highlight for Elliot was seeing a fish with a gigantic wide mouth! ("I can open my mouth that wide too Mummy!")

We were then escorted through the staff only doors to have a look round the warehouse and the kids even got to take a peek into the giant fridge and freezers. They were quick to spot the ice lollies in there! 

Our last stop of the morning was the fruit and veg aisles where Fearne opened a bag of sugar snap peas ("I'm allowed to do this, I work here!) for the kids to try. This seemed to go down quite well even if some of the children preferred to squish the peas instead! 

At the end of the tour the children were all given a goody bag which had some information packs, stickers and fruit in and they had their photo taken with Fearne so she could put it on Facebook. 

Photo credit - Fearne Sheppard @ Tesco
The tour lasted an hour and was really enjoyable, all the children loved having a look round and they loved tasting the samples! I did wonder how suitable the tour would be for 3 year olds and what would be covered, would they find out that their sausages come from Peppa?! Fearne didn't go into too much detail, it was more a tour of the supermarket but I guess with older children they might cover this too. For the 3 year olds it was a great opportunity to see behind the scenes! 

A big thank you to Fearne and to Tesco Fleetsbridge  in Dorset, we had a fab time! :)

For more information on the Farm to Fork trails, visit the Eat Happy Project website

Friday, 19 August 2016

Fireman Sam Electronic Pontypandy Fire Station - Review

Fireman Sam has been around since I was a kid in the 80's and is one of those shows that never seems to go out of fashion for children! Although he does look a little different to what he did back in my day....that man hasn't aged a bit! ;)

Elliot has got into Fireman Sam a bit more recently and has been watching him a lot on Youtube. He was chuffed to bits then to have the chance to test out the new Fireman Sam Electronic Pontypandy Fire Station (£39.99) from Character Online. As soon as the box arrived, Elliot couldn't wait to tear into it and start playing!

Fireman Sam's original fire station burnt down in 2005 (I did not know this!) and in his tv series he now has a brand new one. This new toy is a replica of the one on tv currently so your little ones should recognise it!

The fire station comes with several accessories such as Fireman Sam and his colleague Elvis, a test dummy for all important fire drills, fire extinguisher and bucket, a ladder and a pretty cool electronic control desk that says lots of different phrases including my favourite "this is an emergency situation!!".

The fire station has a handle on top which would be really useful for portable play however it doesn't close up completely so you would need to make sure the accessories are safe otherwise they would just fall out! All the doors of the station including the double ones open up which makes play really easy, and they are nice and sturdy for little hands to use!

The station has a turntable, maintenance ramp, working lift and even a fireman's pole for getting down fast! The fireman's pole is a little fiddly and Elliot did struggle with this at first so I had to lend a hand but after a few goes he could do it by himself.

The set is very well made however we were a little disappointed that it didn't come with a fire engine to use with the station. You can buy the Jupiter fire engine separately so it's worth factoring in this additional cost if you were thinking of buying the station. Fortunately Elliot had a selection of fire engines in his toy box already so he used these along with the station and didn't seem too bothered that Fireman Sam didn't have Jupiter to ride in!

This is Elliot's "Smile for the camera!" face ;)
Overall I think this is a great play set but I do think the price is a little steep for what you actually get. I would consider paying around £20 for a similar set however you are paying for the Fireman Sam brand. Saying that though, Elliot absolutely loves playing with this and it has kept him amused for several afternoons this week!

Disclaimer: We received the product for the purpose of the honest review. All views are my own

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Scooby-Doo Live! Musical Mysteries at the London Palladium - August 2016

Something spooky is coming to London this month as Scooby-Doo and the gang bring their musical mysteries to the world famous London Palladium!

A trouble making ghost is haunting a West End theatre and the Mystery Inc. gang have been called in to help solve the mystery. Of course things never go as planned and they will meet various different people along the way who seem to know more than they are letting on! Who is the ghost?! Will the gang get to the bottom of the mystery?!

Scooby-Doo Live! Musical Mysteries is a brand new family show suitable for all ages and you can catch it at the London Palladium from 18-21 August 2016 where there will be 3 shows daily.

For tickets and more information, please visit

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Kidloland Educational App for Pre-Schoolers - Review and Giveaway

Elliot is a huge fan of the iPad and although we do restrict it so he's not using it all day long (because he totally would!), I'm happy for him to play on it when I'm cooking dinner or getting ready in the mornings. He really enjoys watching YouTube kids, especially the songs for children.

Recently we were contacted by Kidloland to see if we would like to review their educational app. I'd not heard of the brand before but when I took a look online I was really impressed with all the glowing reviews from parents! Needless to say, Elliot didn't need to be asked twice to test it out!

The Kidloland app features over 300 nursery rhymes and educational songs, plus over 220 games and activities. From the main menu there are various different options to click on such as phonics, ABCD songs, Old Macdonald songs, animal kingdom, fruit and vegetables and much more! There is even a lullaby section which might come in handy at bedtimes.

The app is literally bursting with videos to watch and games to play and I think a toddler would have a hard time getting bored of the app with so much to do. New content is constantly being added too which keeps things fresh. I like that the app is educational as well as fun and I think it's a really good way of getting pre-schoolers familiar with numbers/letters etc.

I love the fact that the characters and videos are all so bright and eye catching, but also that the videos are interactive. Click on anyone when the song is playing and that character will do something funny like do a little wave or hide under an umbrella!

Another great reason to love this app is that it can be used offline - which is a godsend on long car journeys or places without WiFi! You can even create a playlist of your favourite songs.

I would suggest going through the settings once you've installed the app and get all the content downloaded before you let your child loose on it as it can take a bit of time to download everything. The settings can only be accessed by a grown up completing a sum so that's very useful if your child is prone to hitting all the button and changing the settings!

Elliot really enjoyed using the app and it has already proved very useful in keeping him quiet on a 4 hour car journey we did recently. Normally I have to resort to downloading programmes from iPlayer for him to watch but he tends to get a bit bored of that in the car so it was good for him to have some more choices and be able to flick through the songs until he found a good one. (The dinosaur songs seem to be a current favourite!)

The app is available to download from the Apple App store, Google Play and the Amazon Appstore . There is a free version but I would highly recommended upgrading to a subscription to access the full content. At £29.99 for a whole year, I think that this equals really good value for money and you would definitely get yours moneys worth!

If you would like to win a 3 month subscription to Kidloland, take a look at the giveaway below. I have 5 subscriptions to give away :)

Disclaimer: We received a 12 month subscription for the purpose of the honest review. All views are my own

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, 1 August 2016

Pregnancy Update ~ Second Baby, Week 12 & The Scan!

Week 12

Exciting times now as the first trimester is almost over! Been feeling really well this week, the queasiness has pretty much gone now which has been good. I'm almost sure I felt the baby move too. I know it's early but I recognised that little fluttery feeling very low down where the baby would be - I was singing at the time too with my choir and it almost made me forget my words!

It was finally time for the first scan this week - I felt quite nervous but really excited to see the baby. And excited to be able to everyone our news! We left Elliot with my parents and headed to the maternity unit at our local hospital. I was weighed and measured (I haven't got any taller...sigh!) and then we waited in the waiting room until we were called a few moments later.

I was fully expecting to have a vaginal scan as this is what happened at my 12 week scan in my first pregnancy. (If the sonographer is unable to see a clear picture then they will suggest this, normally if it early in the pregnancy or if you are overweight. ) This time round the sonographer did a regular scan and we were able to see the baby really clearly. He confirmed that there was definitely a baby (phew!) and only one (phew!) and that everything looked normal (phew!). We had some pictures printed (£5 for 5) but they're not the clearest, we could see the baby really clearly on the screen but as soon as he clicked to take the picture the baby moved!

The scan took around 10 minutes and we then had to wait back in the waiting room for me to have some blood taken. Unfortunately the hospital had some kind of emergency and everything was delayed so we had to wait almost an hour for someone to see me! Finally though a lady took my blood and explained that it would be sent off and tested so we would know if the baby was high or low risk for Down's Syndrome.

We didn't tell Elliot the news straight away, we went out for dinner on the way home but when we got back we sat him down and showed him the pictures. I'd bought him a dinosaur tshirt too which said "I'm going to be a big brother!". He seemed a little shocked but quite excited and kept saying "wow!".

I think he was a bit tired at the time and it didn't really sink it but the next morning he came running into our room and said "you've got a baby in your tummy Mummy!" - and since then he hadn't stopped talking about it! I get asked at least 5 times a day when the baby is coming and he is constantly telling people "we're having a baby!" - even complete strangers!!


Sunday, 31 July 2016

Drumond Park's Barbecue Party Game - Review & Giveaway!

We are a big fan of family games and Elliot is at the right age now where he understands rules and has the patience to play them!

We were recently sent Drumond Park's Barbecue Party (RRP £19.99) and Elliot couldn't wait to start playing!

Barbecue Party is a fun game for kids and big kids aged 4+ and for 2-4 players. It is very simple to set up (great for little ones with not a lot of patience!) and you can be ready to go within seconds.

Prior to playing for the first time you will need to stick the eyes on the vegetables but this was easy peasy and Elliot helped me with this.

To start, you need to make sure the grill is on the barbecue and have all the cards face down on the table. The youngest person starts by picking a card - the cards contains pictures of various barbecue items and that person has to place the corresponding food item on the barbecue using the tongs. If the food item is already on the grill then they can take it off and keep it. The first person to collect three food items wins.

Sounds simple but as always there's a catch! Put too much pressure on the barbecue and it will spring off!

We really enjoyed this game, it was fun to play and kept Elliot's attention the whole time we were playing. He loved the anticipation of whether he'd make the grill spring off and it reminded me of games from my childhood such as Pop up Pirate and Buckaroo!

The game doesn't need batteries so this is a big bonus, and it's so quick to set up - it also packs away really quickly so it's ideal for taking to the Grandparent's house! The pieces are sturdy and the whole game is well made. 

It was a big hit here and I'm sure it'll be a game Elliot comes back to again and again.

If you fancy winning yourself your very own Barbecue Party, please see below

Disclaimer: We received the products for the purpose of the honest review. All views are my own

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, 29 July 2016

Pregnancy Update ~ Second Baby (Weeks 9-11)

Week 9

Still knackered!! I definitely don't remember feeling this tired in my first pregnancy but this time round, I am just exhausted. I don't think it helps having a 3 year old to run round after, he certainly keeps me busy! Seem to be waking at least twice in the night for a wee, that'll only get worse though so better get used to that!

Apart from the tiredness, I'm feeling ok in general. Queasiness hasn't been too bad but I've been making sure I have breakfast everyday, a proper breakfast too and not just a quick cereal bar! My appetite seems to be all over the place. I seem to be hungry all the time but nothing really appeals except bread and butter! (Proper butter on a fresh tiger loaf is literally my idea of heaven right now)

I've still been attending my Slimming World meeting but to be honest I haven't been sticking to plan at all. Lots of healthy foods have lost their appeal - the thought of a salad makes me want to retch right now! I've also gone off Pepsi Max which is mad, I used to be addicted to the stuff and now the thought of it turns my stomach. I've been drinking lots and lots of sugar free squash though so that's got to be better for me!

Week 10

Had my booking appointment this week at the hospital. Met my midwife and she's really nice - I was a bit worried incase I had a mean one who'd pull me up on my high BMI! It was much the same as last time and it was lots of questions to answer about medical history. We also talked about Elliot's birth and whether I'd be having another c-section. (Yes I will be!). She took my blood pressure and that was fine and she wanted to take some blood - eek! I mentioned that last time they always struggled to find a vein so she got her colleague to do it, she eventually found a decent vein and it took a couple of seconds...and didn't hurt!

I was given my notes and lots of leaflets to read and I'd say it took just over an hour. I was glad to get out of the hospital as it was so hot in there!

Week 11

We spent the weekend at Bluestone, Wales and I was abit worried that I might feel sick on the 4 hour journey but I took a few snacks and I was fine. Elliot decided to get car sick though so at one point I had to catch his sick in a carrier bag and hold it til we pulled over on the hard shoulder - it took alot to block out the smell and not start retching!

Feeling ok in myself this week, not quite as tired which is good. Still pretty hungry all the time though! Haven't weighed myself for a couple of weeks but I'm sure the weekend away put on a few pounds...can't resist a Welsh cake!

My scan is next week and I can't wait - not just to see the baby but to be able to tell Elliot, he is going to be so excited!

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