Saturday 31 October 2015

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party - Disney's Magic Kingdom Florida

On our recent holiday to Florida we were able to attend a very special Halloween party at Disney's Magic Kingdom - Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party.

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party is a ticketed event which means it happens outside of park hours and it's additional cost to your actual park ticket. I'll do a proper blog post about Magic Kingdom later on in the week but I just wanted to talk specifically about the Halloween Party here!

The Halloween Party is held on select nights in September, October and November and is suitable for all ages. Guests are encouraged to dress up in their fancy dress finest and to enjoy the spooky entertainment and party atmosphere!

Although we have visited Orlando several times before, this was to be our first visit with a child so I did a lot of research and reading of other blogs before we went. One of my go-to blogs for Disney info was the Life of Spicers and one evening when chatting to Angela about Disney, she mentioned Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party. It was the first time I'd heard of it but that was it, as soon as I started googling, I knew we had to go!!

The tickets cost me an additional $144 on top of our park tickets (around £90) but this was for three of us (Elliot was free as he was under 3) - unfortunately going to Disney World isn't a cheap holiday so I just had to bite the bullet and book tickets!

We spent the day at Magic Kingdom and had such a great time - it was day 3 of our holiday, our first Disney park and the sun was shining! The park was decorated in lots of Autumn colours and I couldn't wait to see it come alive after dark for the Halloween celebrations.  The park closed to the general public at 7pm but MNSSHP guests are allowed in from 4pm so as the crowds started to thin out at late afternoon, we started to see people in costumes of all descriptions! Elliot couldn't wait to get changed into his zombie costume but his mask didn't stay on for long because it was so hot!

Elliot Zombie Mummy

One of the first things we noticed about the event was how much quieter the rides were. These events are generally really popular and the park seemed really busy but nothing like the crowds of the daytime. We found the bigger rides that had a 50mins+ queue in the afternoon, had zero queues in the evening so you could ride again and again if you wanted. And of course, once it gets dark the rides are a whole new experience! We didn't do many rides in the evening as we'd already been on all the big ones earlier in the day but we did take Elliot on the Seven Dwarves Mine Train ride. It was his first proper rollercoaster and we loved it!

MNSSHP is also great for character spotting - the queue to meet the seven dwarves was massive!

One of the most fun things about Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party was the treats! Scattered around the park are treat stations where staff hand out sweets (or candy!) and we had great fun looking for the Mickey balloons which signaled where the treat stations were. We were all given a trick or treat bag and there was no limit to how many times you could visit the treat stations so it didn't take long for the bags to fill up! Elliot was in his element ;)

New for 2015 is the Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular featuring the Sanderson Sisters from the Hocus Pocus film. This happens on the Castle Stage but we only got to see a bit of this as it was just too busy where we were stood to get a decent view - it sounded great though!

I love the parades at Disney and I was really excited to watch the Boo-to-You Halloween parade. It runs twice on event nights and we decided to catch the earlier 8.35pm parade because we weren't sure how late Elliot would manage to stay up. He was beginning to flag at this point but it was good opportunity sit down in the buggy for a bit and rest his tired little legs. The Headless Horseman galloped down Main Street signalling the start of the parade and it was just as good as I imagined. All the usual Disney characters were there including Mickey and Minnie but we also got to see more obscure characters like the hyenas from the Lion King!

Another highlight from the evening was the fireworks show. Disney certainly know how to put on a fireworks display and the Happy Hallowishes Fireworks display is said to be the most impressive you'll see at Disney. We weren't stood too near the Castle so we probably missed out on a good portion of the light display but the fireworks we did see above us were fantastic. The finale was just jaw dropping - 360 degree fireworks that surrounded us. We managed to capture a bit of it on camera but the video just doesn't do it justice - the atmosphere and the noise was incredible!

On event nights, the park stays open until way past midnight but we were dead on our feet (excuse the Halloween pun!) and by 11pm we were more than ready to head home. We had been at the park since 9am so that is one hell of a long day! Elliot was such a good boy despite the long day and he really enjoyed the Halloween Party. He loves spooky things anyway so this was the perfect event to take him to.

He was asleep before we'd even left the park and he certainly slept well that night....and the next morning he couldn't wait to sort out his giant bag of candy!

Elliot sorting out his candy

We had a great time at Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party and wouldn't hesitate to book again on our next Florida holiday! 

Linking up with the following:

thumbnailsizeMami 2 Five
Hannah Spannah Coco Banana

Monday 19 October 2015

Andy & The Odd Socks Album Review and Q&A's

You probably read the title of this review and thought, who are Andy and the Odd Socks?! Well if you have children of a pre-school then you will definitely know Andy - Andy Day of CBeebies fame!

Regular readers of this blog will know that we love Andy, he is Elliot's favourite person on CBeebies and I couldn't possibly begin to tell you how many dinosaur adventures we have sat through! When I saw that he had made an album I knew the likelyhood of us getting it was quite high...!

Andy's album is called "Who Invited This Lot" and was released last month however we were able to pick up a copy when we met Andy at the Festival of Nature, Bristol back in June.

The tracklisting is as follows:

- Aliens
- Unique
- Groovy Hoover
- Battle Robot Rapper
- Odd Sock
- Dinosaur Football Legend Megamatch
- Cheeky Friends
- Wizard of Sound
- No One's Feeling Sorry for Me
- Ninja Pig
- Pirates

As you can see from the song names, there's no nursery rhymes here and every song is an original! For me this was a massive massive plus - I get sick and tired of hearing Incy Wincy Spider or The Wheels on the Bus, there are loads of children's CD's like that and it's good to have something a bit different!

All the songs are cleverly written and funny. Take Cheeky Friends for example - it's about bums! And you know what little boys are like with toilet humour - for Elliot, this was an instant hit because Andy sings about the "cheeky bum" song!

I asked Elliot what his favourite song on the album was and he said he liked the Dinosaur Football Legend Mega Match because it was about dinosaurs. And football. Two of his favourite things! Actually, this is one of my favourites too - the chorus is so catchy, you'll be humming it all day :)

I think it's rare to get an album that both pre-schoolers and adults would enjoy and I think Andy's done really well here to appeal to all ages. It's become one of our most listened to CD's and gets a big thumbs up from me and Elliot!


We were able to send a few questions over to Andy so here's what he had to say....

What inspired you to make an album?
I've wanted to make a children's album for a long time – one that can be listened to and enjoyed by all ages. I remember loving the Simpson’s album when I was younger – I still know the words to the songs! I then met music producers, Bunkersonix, aka Rob David and Dan Delor, and loved their music and their writing, we became good friends and decided to make the album.. it took 2 years to put together as we are all so busy! We wanted to create an album that was a bit like a mini Mighty Boosh mixed with a mini Flight of the Conchords … I hope we have achieved that!

 Who are your musical heroes?
i love soul music/rock and dance, basically anything to get you up and dancing.... so James Brown, Marvin Gaye, Freddie Mercury, Muse…..

 If you could duet with anybody, who would it be?
Jason Mraz... i love his music, or it would have been Freddie Mercury in another life

 Will you be doing any live shows to tie in with the album?
We are working on some fun musical shows based on the song characters and hope to take it live next year (Woohoo, we look forward to this!)

You can find out more here:

Sunday 18 October 2015

Autumn Walks in Wareham Forest Dorset

We've had a bit of a quiet week and have felt a bit cooped up as Elliot has been poorly. We were definitely in need of some fresh air so we decided to go for a walk at one of our local forests.

Wareham Forest is just a few miles down the road from us but we haven't visited for years, one of those places we always say we need to visit but never get round to it!

We didn't really know where the best places to walk would be so we just stopped at one of the first carparks and discovered that there was a 2 mile circular trail which was perfect. Not too far for little legs!

wareham forest

It was great to be out in the fresh air and there wasn't another soul in sight so it was really peaceful. We followed the trail and ended up climbing a big hill, which turned out to be an Iron Age settlement. The views from the top were amazing and the Autumnal colours of the heathland and woodland were in full flourish.

It's great now Elliot isn't using the buggy as much because we can be a bit more adventurous with our walks. I would never have got the buggy up the woodland paths, let alone the hill so it gives us that much more freedom!

I say it time and time again but I'm so lucky to live in this part of the world - Dorset is such a beautiful place with so much to offer and I can't see us moving away anytime soon!

Linking up with the following...
Running in LavenderCountry Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Friday 16 October 2015

My Week in Pictures - 16th October 2015

This week has been a bit of a quiet one. I think the holiday is still catching up with us because everyone has a bit tired and a bit run down. The weather has been a lot cooler than what we had in Florida so we've had a few afternoons where we've snuggled under a blanket and watched a film or two. Current faves this week include Hocus Pocus and Hotel Transylvania.....which we've watched more than once! 

Top Row:
- It was my husband's birthday on Saturday so we got him a cake. Which I hid in a cupboard and told Elliot it was a surprise for Daddy. Only Elliot couldn't wait to tell him! "Daddy we've got you a monkey cake surprise!!!". Here they are blowing out the candles...he was slightly older than 2 years old but thats all I could find in the cupboard!
- My husband went out with his friends to a beer festival on his birthday so Elliot and I had a lovely afternoon together. We stopped at a nice little farm shop and cafe for a milkshake and ice-cream before having a quick play in the play area
- Boys and their toys! 

Middle Row:
- Elliot is a big fan of Room on the Broom and we were really excited to spot these pyjamas in Sainsburys. I think they might be girls ones as the shoulders look a bit puffy and feminine but who cares, purple is great! 
- Spotted this beautiful sunrise in the week and just had to take a photo...

Bottom Row:
- Elliot is such a water baby and most bath times end up with him floating in the water like this!! 
- Our cat Sookie puts up with a lot of prodding and poking from Elliot and I'm amazed she managed to sit still long enough for me to take a photo here! He loves cuddling her but she quite often doesn't want to be cuddled!
- Poorly Elliot with his snotty nose and spotty chin, he wanted to watch Andy's Dinosaur Adventures but couldn't watch it without wearing his hat, backpack and waistcoat..."I'm Andy Mummy!"

Messy Stains and Growing PainsBinky Linky
A Cornish Mum

Thursday 15 October 2015

Toddler Fashion - October

Elliot has been a bit of a lucky boy recently - we got him lots of new clothes when we were on holiday in Florida so his wardrobe is looking pretty full at the moment!

We had a birthday party to go to last weekend and this is what he wore:

Elliot trendy Tot Thursday

Elliot trendy Tot Thursday2

Grey Dinosaur Sweatshirt - Nutmeg @ Morrisons
Blue trainers - Nike
Skinny Jeans - Old Navy
Blue puffer gilet - Old Navy

The dinosaur sweatshirt was a present from my sister and it's such a lovely jumper, really cosy but not too thick that he's going to overheat with the changeable Autumn weather.  

We picked up the rest of the outfit in Florida after a quick trip to the outlet shops and we got some really good bargains. The trainers were around $12 I think, so cheap! And we needed comfy trainers to walk round the theme parks so they were definitely a good buy!

I love this outfit, he just so grown up and the skinny jeans just make him look even taller than he already is, he'll be overtaking me in no time! 

This Mama Life

Tuesday 13 October 2015

Wizard Fingers and Grunge Dip - Halloween Recipe


4 servings

Preparation time:- 20 minutes.

Cooking time:- 15 minutes.

2 Mission Deli Med Wraps
1 organic, preservative free, vegetable stock cube
2 small chicken breasts, skinless, boneless
few drops of green and red food colouring
1 large, ripe avocado
1tbsp lime juice
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tbsp roughly chopped, fresh coriander
150g tub crème fraiche or mayonnaise
100g (3½oz) Romaine or Cos lettuce, chopped
8 cherry tomatoes, halved

Kids will love to help you make this one.

Make up the stock cube with water, and poach the chicken for 10-15 minutes, until

cooked through. Drain and cool.

Slice the chicken into about 8 long, thin “fingers”, along the length of the breast, and then

dip the ends into a tiny bit of food colouring.

Peel, pit and mash the avocado with the lime juice, garlic, salt and coriander; leave it nice

and lumpy for Halloween.

Mix the crème fraiche or mayonnaise with a few drops of green food colouring.

Divide the ingredients between the wraps.

Slice each wrap in half and fold into cone shapes (secure with a cocktail stick if needed).

Load each cone with some lettuce, cherry tomatoes, about 4 fingers of chicken and a

spoonful of avocado.

Hand over a pot of green dressing and let them loose with the ketchup for a really

gruesome wrap.

Halloween Party Essentials and Giveaway!

Halloween party essentials

The leaves are falling, there's a chill in the air, the evenings are drawing can mean only one thing, Halloween is just around the corner! If you're planning to throw a Halloween party for your little ones, take a look at my party essentials for some ideas....

1. Chewits Chewmix and Vampire Fangs* - You can't have a Halloween party without sweets and these spooky Chewits are perfect for little ghouls with a sweet tooth!
2. Wizard Finger Wraps with Grunge Dip* - These gruesome 'wizard fingers' can be made using Mission Deli Wraps and are a great way to get the kids involved in the party preparations. See here for the full recipe
3. Halloween Costumes by Tu @ Sainsburys - When I was a kid, our costumes were made using black binliners and a cheap witches hat but these days, children are spoilt for choice with ready made costumes! Sainsburys have the best outfits for a range of ages and we always buy Elliot's costume here. They are great value, especially when the 25% offer is on!
4. Fiendish Fancies by Mr Kipling - These spooky orange fancies are a great take on one of my favourite cakes and would look frightfully good at any Halloween party
5. Giant Spider - Poundland £1 - I've got a bit of an obsession with Poundland, I love it! I went in to check out their Halloween section last week and I was absolutely blown away by their range. They have literally everything you could need to throw a Halloween party, and all for a pound obviously! I stocked up for Elliot's forthcoming spooky birthday party but I'm going to pop back this week and pick up a couple of these giant spiders, you can't go wrong for the price!
6. Zippo Candy Apple Red Candle Lighter* £13.75 - I don't like using matches around Elliot and keep them on a high shelf but this candle lighter is a great alternative for lighting your pumpkins. Love the colour of this and also love that is has a child-resistant safety button!
7. Kids Halloween Party Music £5.99 - To really set the scene at your party you need one of these spooky CDs! Featuring songs such as Ghostbusters, Monster Mash and I Put a Spell on You this is bound to get your little monsters dancing.
8. Tobar Clockwork Zombies* - For a fun alternative to sweets, Tobar has a great selection of Halloween toys featuring items like the clockwork zombies, jumping spiders, bouncing eyeballs and my personal favourite...Spew Balls! Tobar have given me a bundle of these to give away so see below for details on how to win!
9. Huggies Style on The Go Wipes* - You're going to need something to clean the sticky fingers and faces of your Halloweenies after all the treats so this is a must for any party!

I love Halloween and whilst Elliot is too young for trick or treating, we always get together with our friends for a little party for the kids. And in fact, this year Elliot has requested a spooky birthday party so I get to re-use all my Halloween decorations a month later to celebrate his 3rd birthday!

To win a selection of Halloween toys from Tobar (as seen here) , please follow the Rafflecopter details below - UK Residents only
a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Disclaimer - Some of the items were provided to me for the purpose of this blog post

MummascribblesZenas Suitcase

Tuesday 6 October 2015


Last Friday (Oct 2nd) was World Smile Day and to mark this, Primula Cheese have launched the #Spreadasmile campaign which will raise funds for the amazing Make-A-Wish® UK Foundation.

To kickstart this campaign, Primula have asked us bloggers to post a picture of us with someone or something that makes us smile

Lots of things make me smile but I have chosen to post a picture of me and the new friends I have met through being a Mum. When I nervously walked into my local under 1's session way back in January 2013, I just hoped that somebody would speak to me - I never imagined that I'd make such an amazing new group of Mummy friends. These ladies can always be relyed upon for advice, cake and giggles and I can't imagine motherhood without them now!


This World Smile Day Primula Cheese are working with Make-A-Wish® UK to raise funds to help grant magical wishes to seriously ill children. 

Throughout October and November, they will donate 20% of the profits from the sale of their special 'Just Say Cheese' tube sold to Make-A-Wish® UK

Want to Help?

Join in by posting a picture of yourself with someone that makes you smile to #SpreadASmile and of course, pick up a limited Just Say Cheese edition Primula Cheese tube in stores now. 

Monday 5 October 2015

The Longest Day - 4339 Miles from London to Orlando (with a toddler!)

You may have noticed that things have been a little quiet here on this blog recently. An organised blogger might have scheduled some posts to keep things ticking over but nope, not me! That would be too organised! We were actually away on our family hols and travelled to Orlando, Florida for Elliot's first American holiday and his first long haul flight.

Our flight wasn't until 1.30pm so we didn't have to do any mad driving through rush hour traffic to get to the airport - we actually booked a local taxi firm to take us which was SO much more relaxing, especially for my husband who would have been doing the driving! The taxi dropped us right outside the departures area so we were able to head straight over to the check in desks. Apart from a short wait at airport security while our buggy got scanned, we made it through to departures fairly quickly and it was a lot less stressful than our last holiday! We flew with Virgin and we'd decided to book into their glad we did and it was definitely worth the money. We were able to help ourselves to hot/cold breakfast items (unlimited), plus hot/cold drinks (unlimited) and there were cakes....also unlimited! There were loads of tables all over looking the runways and also a play area for children which also had a tv showing CBeebies - brilliant! Another benefit of the V-Lounge is that they call you when your flight is boarding so no need to keep an eye on the departures board, you can just relax and wait for the announcement.

Our flight was called and we made our way down to the gate and onto the plane. I started to feel a bit nervous at this point because I was about to spend 9+ hours in a small confined space with a toddler - eeek!! I recently blogged about flying longhaul with a toddler  and had a lot of things in my hand luggage to keep Elliot amused for the duration and we also had the i-Pad so we were keeping our fingers crossed he'd be ok!

As it was, Elliot was good as gold on the flight. He didn't sleep a wink despite being tired but was quite happy to wear his new headphones and watch films and Peppa Pig on the seat-back tv! In fact, the only activity I used from my bag of goodies was the play-doh and that was put away within minutes as soon as he spotted the ice lollies being handed out!

Bum change time was....interesting. Elliot is yet to be potty trained (despite our best efforts!) and so I knew changing his bum might be a bit of a squeeze! Elliot isn't a small toddler so he was too long (and probably heavy) for the pull down baby change shelf thingy so I had to change him while he stood on the toilet. This was a mission in itself because he wanted to touch everything!! Taps, flush, tissues, tampons, name it, he had his grubby mits all over it! We then had the issue of me needing a wee too so he had to stand up against the wall whilst I used the toilet - but then he kept sliding the lock open and shut - arghhh!!!

I wondered if Elliot might get sore ears on the flight but it didn't seem to bother him. I had boiled sweets just incase but they proved too much of a temptation and he'd munched his way through a bag of rosy apples before the midway point ;)

Before we knew it, my husband and I had both managed to watch 2 films (a luxury these days!) and it was time to land in Orlando. No issues with the landing and Elliot was excited to get off the plane, he even high fived all the nice Virgin flight attendants on his exit!

We landed at around 5.30pm local time which was 10.30pm UK time - way way past Elliot's bedtime and I could tell he was flagging by the time we'd got off the plane and reached passport control. We have travelled to Orlando Airport before and have always always had to queue - I understand this bit takes some time to get all the passengers through and check passports etc but it's such a faff. Especially when you have a sleepy child and your buggy is waiting for you with the luggage. There were a lot of grizzly children at this point and the heat definitely did not help matters! Finally we made it through customs (he was a stern man - they scare me!) and we picked up our cases and buggy were on our way. Well, on our way to the next queue at the car rental desk. Eventually we exited the airport and we found our car....only to have to spend the next hour struggling to fit the child seat! My poor husband, it was like a sauna in the car and it wasn't very well lit so he had a bit of a mission on his hands, Luckily Elliot had dozed off in his buggy by this point so at least I didn't have to keep him amused!

Finally, feeling very sweaty and tired, the car seat was in properly and we were able to actually start our holiday! We did a quick supermarket stop for the essentials (fried chicken, lucky charms and beer) and so by the time we got to our villa and sat down with a cold drink, it was 11pm (4am UK time). I had never wanted to jump in a pool so badly as this moment! What a long day!

We squeezed so much into our two weeks so I have lots to blog about over the coming weeks. First up will be my review of "Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party" so look out for that...spoiler, there was ALOT of candy!

Linking up with the following...

blogging mummy
The Twinkle Diaries
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