Thursday 31 December 2015

Christmas 2015 - Blowing Away the Cobwebs...

Christmas Day for us began at 730am with Elliot running into our bedroom shouting "he's been! Father Christmas has been!". He was so excited that it was finally Christmas that he completely failed to spot the stocking on the end of his bed! My husband probably wanted to have a lie in but no chance of that on Christmas Morning ;)

Guess who got the biggest pile! 
Elliot couldn't wait to tackle the presents and it didn't take long for our floor to be covered in a sea of wrapping paper and discarded boxes! My husband did a good job of present buying this year, I got some lovely Yankee Candles, a giant Lindt ball and a voucher for Yours Clothing and some other bits and bobs. Normally he'll be one of those men rushing round Tesco the day before Christmas so I'm glad he was marginally more organised this year!

We had a lovely Christmas Dinner cooked by my hubby and then spent the afternoon with my family. More presents for Elliot, more chaos, more food! My parents gave Elliot a Clangers set, he was so pleased, he's been talking about it non-stop since we saw it in Smyths last month. It's funny because he's not that into the programme but was so taken with this little set - this will be one of his favourites for a long time I'm sure. One of his other favourite presents was a set of Darth Vader pjs, complete with mask!

The rest of the day was spent visiting family, eating party food and then finally vegging out in front of the telly once Elliot was tucked up in bed. Such a tiring day!

Unfortunately the Christmas germs descended on us on Boxing Day and apart from a quick visit to the Lush sale , we pretty much hibernated for the next few days. Aside from feeling rubbish, it was actually quite nice to spend some family time it surrounded by snotty tissues and inhalers! We watched lots of films, did lots of puzzles and I even managed to find homes for most of Elliot's new toys.

By the time Tuesday rolled around, it was time for my husband to go back to work. For me it was that wierd limbo time between Christmas and New Year when not alot happens and you have no clue what day of the week is it! Desperate for a bit of fresh air after being cooped up, we headed to our local park with my Mum and Elliot couldn't have been more excited about being outside!

I've been coming to this particular park for years since I was a kid so it's nice to bring Elliot here and he loves playing on the beach. He spent ages lobbing stones into the sea! The fresh air did us the world of good and it was great to blow away the cobwebs!

With New Years Eve now upon us, I'll be taking a look back at 2015 in my next post and looking forward to 2016 and all it may bring! 

Wednesday 23 December 2015

Last Minute Stocking Fillers for Kids

If like me you will be braving the high street for those last minute items, here are some ideas for stocking fillers...

1. Disney Frozen Shimmer Shaker Bubble Bath - Wilko (£5) - This will make your bath bubbles shimmer! Aimed at kids but actually I'd quite like this in my stocking!
2. Gruffalo Magnetic Game - Waterstones (£8.99) - This cute little game features 27 bright and chunky magnetic pieces and encourages children to create new stories featuring their favourite characters;
3. Dress your own Astronaut - Wilko (£3.50) - This little outfit fits over most teddies (it gets put on a duck in our house!) and matching child costumes are available!
4. Deep Sea Fun Game - ELC (£8) -Perfect for honing those fine motor skills and learning colours
5. Little Chef Set - B&M (£3.99) - Good for when your little ones are "helping" out in the kitchen, this set comes with an apron, hat and tea towel.
6. Boys Novelty Christmas Socks - Next (£6) - A new pair of novelty socks is a Christmas tradition for me, I love these festive ones from Next
7. Balloon Modelling Kit - BHS (£4) - Kids might need a bit of help from an adult but this balloon modelling kit could keep them amused for ages!
8. ChocOnChoc Festive Reindeer & Penguin Box - Boots (£6) - These chocolates are almost too cute to eat!

Have you finished your Christmas Shopping yet?!

Sunday 20 December 2015

The Christmas Countdown..

With Christmas just ONE WEEK away, we have been feeling very very festive and have been getting up to lots of exciting things! Elliot has now finished pre-school for the year so we have lots more to squeeze in before the big day arrives. But here's what we've been getting up to this week..

Mums Night Out

New dress, check! New shoes with a heel I can walk in (ie a flat one then), check! Copious bottles of wine, check! Mums that have been let out on the loose, check! 

I don't really go out much these days so it's nice to get together with my mum friends and let our hair down once in a while. We had a lovely meal followed by a bit of Mum dancing and I was tucked up in bed by midnight - perfect! There were a few fuzzy heads the next morning though ;)

We saved ourselves a second trip to the bar by buying a bottle each - forward planning! 

Meeting Father Christmas

It's a good job Elliot is still young enough not to question things but we've met Father Christmas a few times this week - each with a slightly varied beard/outfit!! 

First of all there was a Santa parade which was due to go down our road. It wasn't really a parade in the end, just Father Christmas in a sports car and a trailer with a fake reindeer but he stopped to give out sweets for the kids! 

Next we had booked to see Father Christmas at a local garden centre Stewarts - it gets booked up really fast as it's so popular so we were looking forward to it. We actually bought Elliot here when he was a few weeks old so it was nice to look back at old photos and see how much he'd grown! Father Christmas was lovely again, unlike the child before us Elliot wasn't shy at all and marched on in!! He got a brilliant dinosaur present and we got a lovely photo. They even have real reindeer there which is a nice touch - we told Elliot that this is where they rest before the big night!

Today we did something a bit different - we went on a boat to meet Father Christmas! It was organised by City Cruises and it was a children's Christmas party with an entertainer, christmas music, games, and obviously a visit from the man in red. Elliot was in his Elf costume (again!!) and he had a brilliant time, I think he would have happily stayed on there all afternoon bopping away to the Christmas songs!

Christmas Carols

I've talked about my choir (Just Sing) before but it's something I absolutely love doing, I really look forward to choir night each week and our live performances are always so exciting! This week saw our annual Christmas concert - in fact this time we did two performances as it was so popular the previous year. Raising money for the Mosaic charity, a charity which helps bereaved children in Dorset, we managed to raise over £2770!!

Photo Credit - Just Sing Choir

End of Term

It was Elliot's last day at pre-school for the year on Friday so of course he wanted to wear the Elf does get washed I promise! I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall to see what he got up to but he came home full of smiles and he had a big pile of homemade crafts for me. The ladies at his pre-school are so lovely and all the children had a little present to take home. I think he will really miss going over the Christmas break! 

My little Elf on his way to pre-school! 

The week leading up to Christmas Day is just as busy for us but I love the festive build up just as much as the big day itself! 

Mami 2 FivePost Comment Love

Thursday 10 December 2015

My Week in Pictures - 11th December 2015

December has been a whirlwind of activity so far and I can't believe Christmas is just two weeks away....I haven't even finished writing my cards yet!

The festive season is in full swing and we've been really busy - today was a full day at home though which was lovely and much needed. Sometimes you just need a day at home in your pjs watching films! Here's what else we've been up to...and I realise that most of these snaps include food, oops!

Top Row:
- I belong to a local choir called Just Sing and we had a Christmas gig at a cafe just a few minutes from my house. Elliot insisted on wearing the Elf costume and he loved meeting Father Christmas after our performance!
- My husband is a small business owner (The Laptop Fixers) and last Friday we took our staff out for a Christmas meal. My sister in law works for us too and we had a giggle sitting next to each other!
- Another day, another Elf outing....Elliot really loves this costume! Bet you've never seen an Elf eat a hotdog this big!

Middle Row:
- Is it just boys that jump on things ALL THE TIME?! I caught Elliot bouncing on our bed in his you do!
- We had a birthday party last weekend and the kids got to decorate cupcakes. I just managed to snap this photo before the icing was demolished!

Bottom Row:
- This is what happens when you eat a penguin bar and it melts...notice how he's stuffed the whole thing in his gob though!
- Elliot was sent a lovely Christmas stocking stuffed full of Kiddylicious goodies from their PR lady Emma, what a nice touch :)
- As we were home all day today we made some rice crispie cakes but as you can probably imagine, quite a lot of the rice crispies and chocolate never made it into the cake cases!!

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You Baby Me Mummy

Braun ThermoScan 7 Ear Thermometer - Review

As soon as you become a parent, you spend most of your time worrying about your baby and dread them feeling poorly! This time of year is terrible for coughs and colds, Elliot seems to have had a snotty nose for the past month and all kinds of germs have been going round his little group of friends.

We were recently asked to review the Braun ThermoScan 7 Ear Thermometer and I thought that it couldn't have come at a better time! Since Elliot was a baby we did have an ear thermometer but it was so cumbersome and unreliable that I didn't really use it much. So I was a bit excited to get this one of the box and try it out! ;)

I wasn't aware of this but the definition of fever changes with age and what is classed as high on a newborn could be completely fine for a toddler or older child. With this in mind, the ThermoScan 7 features unique age-adjustable fever guidance technology. You simply press the button of the crawling child on the front of the thermometer and select the age bracket you want eg 0-3 months, 3-36 months and 36 months +.

Taking the child's temperature couldn't be easier, you just place the tip in the ear (the tip is also pre-warmed enabling a more accurate reading) press the big button on the front and the thermometer will beep and light up when it has an accurate reading. All this takes 1-2 seconds which is really handy when you have a poorly child who really doesn't want anything in their ear! The thermometer will then display the temperature with green, yellow or red light letting you know if the temperature is normal or not. (Yellow means elevated whilst red obviously means high)

Other features include disposable lens filters which pop on and off really easily, memory function which stores the last 9 temp readings, and also a nightlight feature which is really useful if you're creeping in at night to take a temperature!


I really wish I'd had one of these when Elliot was a baby because it would have made things so much easier. I love the fact that it's so simple and fast to take a temperature and when you've got a wiggling child, time is of the essence!

I had a quick check online and you can pick up one of the thermometers for around £42.99 which does sound expensive for what it is BUT I think that it is well worth the money and is something that can be used right from newborn to adults. The age-adjustable fever guide is so so simple to understand and really takes the worry out of whether your baby has a fever.

I'm sure we will be using the thermometer lots over the germ-filled Winter months!

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

Family Fever

Wednesday 2 December 2015

Christmas Crafts with Baker Ross

We were recently sent a big box of festive goodies from Baker Ross and we had the tough job of testing them all's a hard job, someone's got to do it ;)

Baker Ross have lots and lots of seasonal items on their website and following on from the Autumn Crafts, the Christmas range is amazing. Christmas cards, stocking fillers, decorations, craft kits. stickers, paints, stampers, porcelain art....the list goes on!

Our bumper box contained Penguin Foam stickers, Christmas Ceramic Tealight holders, Christmas Stampers, Snowflake Stampers,  Festive Fingerprint Cards, Christmas Wreath Fingerprint Photoframe Kit and a 6 bottles of ready mixed paint.

We put our Christmas Tree up today so Elliot decided we would make the wreath photoframe kit, these little wreaths hang on the tree so a good option for us to do! As with lots of the Baker Ross kits, the instructions are so straight forward and even a not-very-creative person like me can make something that looks half decent! Elliot couldn't wait to get his fingers in the ink pad - lots of it ended up on the table as well as the decorations but fortunately it rubbed off ok....good old baby wipes ;)

Elliot did a great job in sticking down the ribbons on the wreath and I helped him out with the cutting - he was then able to stick the photo down onto the foam which made the back of the wreath. A bit of mummy assistance with the ribbon and he was good to go - he couldn't wait to hang them on the tree!

The next kit we tried was the festive fingerprint cards - this was very straightforward, so easy that it didn't need instructions. We just followed the pictures on the front of the packet and put our fingerprints in the right places! This was a bit hit with Elliot as he liked splodging his fingers in the inkpads! The pack contains 10 cards so plenty of spares for all your friends and family.

Elliot was overjoyed to spot the foam stickers in the box - he loves nothing more than sticking them on a bit of paper to create a scene. What's good with these stickers is that the backing paper comes off very easily making it perfect for little (and impatient) fingers! We decided to create a snowy scene with some white card - apparently the penguins were at the North Pole :)

Time to get the paints out next and we decided to give the stampers a go. I loved these, they were so Christmassy! All the stampers are nice and chunky which is perfect for little fingers and I loved the variety in the Christmas pack. The snowflakes were really pretty and Elliot enjoyed making a "frozen" themed picture with these. (no pics of these I'm afraid...was too busy stamping!)

Last but not least were the ceramic tealight holders. These can be decorated with porcelain pens or acrylic paints, both available from the Baker Ross website. We haven't decorated ours yet, but actually they look very sweet as they are, minus any paint!

This is just a very small selection of what Baker Ross has to offer and I'd definitely recommend checking out the website, especially the Christmas range! 

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

Tuesday 1 December 2015

Baby Moo's Baby & Toddler Clothing - New Bournemouth Store!

Last weekend we were invited to the opening of a lovely new shop, Baby Moo's in Bournemouth and we were excited to go along and check them out.

Baby Moo's was launched in 2010 when new mum Anna got bored of all the blues/pinks/pastel colours in the shops for babies and longed for something different at affordable prices. She sold some of her unwanted baby items to raise some cash, imported some stock and Baby Moo's was born! Since then the website has gone from strength to strength and lots of the items are designed by Anna herself. Baby Moo's has even expanded to offer a toddler range - offering some very cool items that you just won't find on the high street!

The shop is the next step for Baby Moo's and Anna is looking forward to meeting lots of new customers in sunny Southbourne, Bournemouth.

baby moos owner

First impressions of the shop were that all the clothing looks so eye catching and I love all the little details like the cow hooks to tie in with the moo theme! There's no insipid colours here - everything is bright and punchy and I love the different logos on the babygrows. I really wish I'd known about Baby Moo's when Elliot was little because I longed for funky outfits for him!

I'm a big fan of skull prints so the toddler section caught my eye - it's nice to see skull emblems on girls t-shirts as well as boys. My favourite top was the white t-shirt with the skull hands - this definitely appealed to Elliot's gruesome nature haha! Anna very kindly gave us this t-shirt to review and it's a really lovely top. The t-shirt is made from good, thick quality material and fits him really well. We went for a size 3-4 and I would say this is true to size. The t-shirt has been through the wash this week and hasn't lost it's shape, and the printed design looks as sharp as it did brand new.

I did try and take some nice photos of Elliot modelling the t-shirt but he wasn't really in the mood for posing haha!

Anna told me that the toddler range will be expanding soon so I will be keeping my eye on the website for more funky clothes. I just love that the prints are a bit different to what you'd find elsewhere - and anything with skull print is good with me!

For more info and to take a look at Baby Moo's fab range, check out their website or pop into the new store at :
134 Seabourne Road

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

Family FeverMummascribbles

Tuesday 24 November 2015

Party Bags and Supplies - Review

Recently I had the chance to review a party pack from Party Bags and Supplies and although Elliot had a birthday coming up, I decided to look for a party pack suitable for a little Halloween party we were planning for Elliot and a few of his friends.

Firstly, I was so impressed with the website - there is so much choice! Literally every single theme you could think of is there whether thats Gruffalo, superheroes, princesses, Disney, pirates and lots lots more. There were even two options for spooky party packs so I chose the 'Premium Boneyard Boogie Halloween Party Pack'. This pack contained the following:

- 8 cups
- 8 plates
- 16 napkins
- 1 tablecloth
- 8 pre-filled party bags containing a spooky sticker, skeleton noisemaker, evil eye jet ball, a spin top, a halloween tattoo and a chocolate ghost.

Photo Credit - Party Bags and Supplies
When the pack arrived it was well packaged and I immediately noticed that the quality of the items was really good. I've bought party bits from the pound shop before and whilst it's cheap, you really do get what you pay for! The tablecloth was huge and really thick and I loved the spooky spiderweb pattern.

party supplies

The party bags were great and I think it's such a good idea to be able to buy them ready made. I always find it a bit of a faff sorting out party bags and it can work out really expensive having to go and buy all the toys/sweets separately. So to have them ready made is a big bonus! The party bags were a big hit with our guests :)

The party packs cost £28 which I think is a fair price for what you get. You'd definitely spend more if you were to go out and buy all the bits separately and it's so convenient being able to buy it all in one go! I love the fact that there is so much choice and I will definitely consider buying from Party Bags and Supplies in the future.

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



With Christmas only a month away (eeek, I'm so not organised!), you may be struggling with ideas for the important ladies in your life. I've put together a few things which I think any Mum would love...

Christmas gift guide for Mums

1. Yankee Candle - Christmas Cookie (£11.99) - I LOVE Yankee Candles and there's nothing better than a home smelling of your favourite scents. The Christmas editions are all lovely but my current favourite is the Christmas Cookie one - husband if you're reading this, this is a hint!
2. AM/PM Yoga for Beginners; Roxy Shahidi (£12.99)* - You may recognise Roxy from Emmerdale but you may not know that she is a certified yoga instructor too! Beat the post-Christmas rush of fitness DVDs and pop one of these in your mum's stocking, she may thank you after over-indulging in mince pies ;)
3. 3D Polar Bear Mug - John Lewis (£5) - John Lewis always have a great selection of Christmas gifts and this cute little polar bear caught my eye. Just imagine him filled with steaming hot chocolate with cream and marshmallows ...mmmm!
4 & 5. Avon Body Butter and Lani Necklace (£5 & £15) * - Avon have some brilliant gifts this Christmas and you will be spoilt for choice for ideas for your Mum. I love this body butter, it feels really luxurious but you know with Avon that you are getting great value!
6. BIC® Conte Colouring Pencils (£5.99) *- Adult colouring seems to have taken the world by storm - apparently it can help destress you after a busy day! These colouring pencils from BIC® can help you colour your worries away. For more info, check out @mybicpen on Twitter
7. Accessorize Snowflake Scarf (£35) - You can't go wrong with a snuggly scarf as a gift and this one from Accessorize is perfect for the festive season!
8. Olverum Bath Oil (From £23.50) * - Olverum Bath Oil is a unique blend of 10 essential oils and has been described as "bath nirvana".  Not only does it sooth tired muscles, it relieves stress and helps you achieve a great night's sleep. I'm usually one for showers but I will definitely be making time for more baths after trying out the oil for myself - I went to bed feeling thorough de-stressed and relaxed!
9. Photobox Personalised Calender (From £22) * - A personalised calender makes such a great gift and it's something I've given to my Mum for the past few Christmas'. Photobox have some brilliant gift ideas and the photobooks would also make a great Christmas present for Mum. The mobile version of the website and the apps are really handy for creating personalised gifts, I'm guessing most of us have lots of photos on our phones! (App available from App Store, Google Play and Amazon)
10. Bakedin Baking Club (From £4.99) * - For something a bit different, Bakedin have launched the Baking Club which is a monthly subscription service supplying everything you need to bake delicious cakes from scratch at home. I love eating cake but my baking skills aren't amazing so this kit is perfect for someone like me! The Baking Club costs £4.99 for the first month and £9.99 per month thereafter but gift packages are available starting at £29.99 which makes it an idea Christmas present.

I hope that's given you some good ideas. 
Are you organised with your Christmas shopping this year?!

*Disclaimer - some of the items were provided to me for the purpose of this gift guide


Saturday 21 November 2015

My Week in Pictures - 21st November 2015

Well after a crazy couple of weeks of birthdays and moving house again (that's a tale for another day), things are finally settling down and getting back to normal.

Here's what we've been getting up to this week:

Top Row:
- I've been nagging my husband for months about getting a bookcase for Elliot's room and we finally got one, woo! It was only a cheap one from Argos but it has made such a difference in his room. He has so many lovely books and it's nice to be able to display them properly now. Whether this will stay this tidy is another matter!!
- Birthday party season has started for Elliot and last Sunday he had a great time at his little mate Finleys' party. They look so cute here with their faces painted!
- Pre-school really took it out of Elliot last Monday, he went all quiet as I was making lunch and I realised he'd dozed off! He never ever does this!

Middle Row:
- We have a Costa just a few minutes walk from our house so we often pop in. Elliot is a big fan of the chocolate babychino's - although after he'd slurped this one, his face was covered in chocolate!!
- Having some quiet time on the iPad whilst I got ready!

Bottom Row:
- He loves bathtime! The family bathroom in our new house has a posh shower with a handy glass door so it means he can splash about in the bath and I don't get wet...providing he keeps it at the right end!
- We braved the cold today and had a quick walk along the cliffs by Bournemouth Beach. It was absolutely freezing but I wanted to stop at this bench which is in memory of a good friend of mine who passed away a few years ago. I might pick a warmer day to visit next time ;)
- We were invited along to an opening of a new baby clothing shop in Bournemouth today, Baby Moos. I will be writing about this very soon!

Have you been up to anything exciting this week? 

thumbnailsizeThe Freerange FamilyMessy Stains and Growing Pains

Tuesday 17 November 2015

Elliot's 3rd Birthday Celebrations

It seems only 5 minutes ago that I was writing about Elliot's 2nd birthday and his amazing Gruffalo Party but in the blink of an eye 12 months have passed and he is now 3 years old. 3 years old?! How did that happen!!

We decided to hire our local village hall for Elliot's birthday celebrations and he told me he wanted a "spooky" party. Fortunately his birthday is a few weeks after Halloween so I was able to get lots and lots of decorations and party bits when the Halloween stock hit the shops in September. I even managed to pick up some party bits whilst we were on holiday in Florida - the shops were full of amazing Halloween displays so I was spoilt for choice really! 

My family were on hand to help "spookify" the hall and they did a great job helping me set things up. We had a bouncy castle to entertain the kids and we laid out tables and chairs for the parents. All the tables had a spooky centrepiece such as skeleton bones or pumpkins and combined with fairy lights and curtains drawn, it gave a really spooky effect. Totally rubbish lighting for decent photos though!

My mum helped me with the party food and as usual we went abit overboard - I always worry we won't have enough so I tend to go in the opposite direction and we end up with way too much! All the food was renamed for spooky purposes, e.g dead man's fingers (cocktail sausages!) and witches wands (chocolate fingers). We also had an amazing birthday cake made by a great local company (Creative Cakes by Nicki) and this of course was fitting for the spooky theme!

It was a very manic day with around 30 kids plus parents coming along the party but Elliot had such a great time and he was absolutely knackered at the end of it. He had a 2.5 hour nap afterwards which is unheard of these days! 

For Elliot's actual birthday we didn't have too much planned because he had pre-school in the morning but he was up bright and early to unwrap his presents. Two of his presents came all the way from Walt Disney World and I'd managed to sneakily buy them on our last day at the parks when he wasn't with me. He couldn't wait to get the figures out of the box and was very excited to see them!

After school we went to my parents house for lunch and Elliot was absolutely spoilt with more presents. Mum and Dad bought him an easel which he loved! Another birthday cake (the third of the week!) and another chance to blow out the candles :)

In the afternoon my husband finished work early and we went to our local Smyths Toy Store - a new one has recently opened near to us so we were interested to see how they differed from Toys R Us. I was really impressed, lots of good value items and I even started my Christmas Shopping! We bought Elliot a Scooby Doo Haunted House as part of his birthday present - he's had his eye on one for ages so he was really happy :)

We ended the birthday celebrations with a meal at Frankie & Benny's which is one of our favourite restaurants to take Elliot to as it's very family friendly.

I think it's safe to say that Elliot enjoyed his birthday celebrations and he got so many lovely presents. I still can't believe he's 3!! 

Super Busy MumLet's Talk Mommy

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