Thursday 22 September 2016


Some toys never seem to go out of fashion - one such brand is Brio, known for their well crafted wooden toys. Brio have been producing toys since the 1800s and are still going strong today!

We were recently asked to review one of the brand new Rescue Sets and lets just say it has kept Elliot very quiet over the last few days!

Brio Rescue Set

The Rescue Set contains a whopping 30 items and these include tracks, fire station, rescue vehicles, fireman/lady and even a cute little fire! (Because what is a rescue set with a fire!)

What I love about the Brio toys is that they are so well made and durable which is especially important with young children who can be a bit heavy handed. This set is no exception, although some parts are made from plastic everything is of such good quality. The attention to detail is second to none too with a little ladder and fire hose on the engine and even flashing lights and siren.

The track pieces are nice and chunky, perfect for little hands and are easy to fit together. Elliot wasted no time in setting up the track and did most of it himself, although the bridge part was a little fiddly and kept collapsing so I stepped in to help with that!

I'm not sure why there is a wolf on top of the fire station!

The rescue set is part of a bigger fire and rescue range so there is lots of scope for adding to your collection. The rescue set makes up part of the Brio World and all the tracks are compatible so this is a great collection to build up. I love that these wooden toys are timeless so they can be used again and again and for future generations!

Elliot really enjoyed playing with this new rescue set and it has been out on the living room floor every afternoon this week. Although this is his first Brio set, he has been using other tracks and trains to build a larger play area.

Elliot is train mad (like his Grandad!) so this has been a big hit, I definitely think we will be adding to his Brio collection now we have this to start us off!

The Rescue Set has an RRP of £79.99

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

Monday 19 September 2016

Pregnancy Update ~ Baby #2 ( Weeks 18-21 & Anomaly Scan)

Well I'm officially over the halfway mark now and time seems to be going a bit faster now. We have lots planned for the Autumn so I feel like Christmas will be here before we know it and then January - baby time!!

Still feeling generally fine in the pregnancy although I have struggled with the heat over the last few weeks. It's been so muggy so I feel like I've just been constantly sweaty - nice! I've had swollen ankles too which happened in my first pregnancy too.

I've been feeling baby move so much more recently - my husband hasn't been able to feel it yet but I can certainly feel it! It's hard to explain, just feels like lots of bubbles and swirling inside. The baby seems very active!

My bump has definitely popped now and my tummy is looking much more baby belly round, and not "eaten all the cake" round!

I need to get round to sorting Elliot's old baby stuff out soon so I can see what I need to buy. I think I have most of the big items but I did pick up some Tommee Tippee bottles in the Asda baby event last week, plus some neutral baby grows.

20 Week Scan

Week 20 meant it was time for our anomaly scan. It was fantastic to see the baby again on the screen - he/she was really active and flipping around all over the place. Unfortunately the sonographer couldn't get all the measurements he needed - a combination of the baby moving, and my BMI. This is quite common in overweight ladies and actually the same thing happened at Elliot's 20 week scan. We are booked in for another scan at 23 weeks so hopefully the baby might be more cooperative then. I'm also gagging to find out the gender so hopefully we will know at this next scan!

As I'm under consultant care I had to have a meeting with my consultant after the scan. To be honest this was a big waste of time and just felt like they were ticking boxes! I had to sit in a room for half an hour while they read my notes and when she came in she said "Well we have a lot to go through!" so I thought I'd be in there for ages. But she literally had a list of things she whizzed through:

"You had a big baby last time, we'll keep an eye on that this time"
"Do you want to see a dietician? No? OK"
"I see you want a c-section, are you sure?"
"You're booked in for a GTT test, correct?"
"When are you seeing your midwife next?"

And that was literally it, felt it was a complete waste of not only my time but her time too!

We're off on holiday soon to Majorca and I'm looking forward to spending a week in the sun and relaxing for a bit. Well, relaxing as much as you can with a lively almost 4 year old!


Sunday 18 September 2016

Taking on the Wicked Uncle Challenge

Do you find is easy buying presents for children? I have to say as a mum now I don't find it too difficult and I have a better understanding of what kids like. But before Elliot came along I was a bit clueless, especially when it came to little boys. And now I understand why my brother in law used to look so dismayed when his children opened yet another gigantic box of stickers ;)

Wicked Uncle have taken the stress out of present buying and I have to say, I was really impressed with their website! You can search their website using the child's gender, or their age and there are different catagories such as outdoorsy, spooky & spells and engineer. There is also the option to see whats popular on the website to give you even more ideas on what to buy!

We were contacted by Wicked Uncle who asked if we wanted to take on the blogger challenge. We're never ones to turn down new toys so it was a big yes from us, especially Elliot! We had to find a willing friend/relative who needed some help buying toys so we asked my sister Laura to help us out. Laura doesn't have children of her own so she was a perfect candidate to test out the website!

Here's what she had to say about her Wicked Uncle experience:

"When I got asked to take part in the challenge I looked straight away at what I could buy and was really impressed. The website was really easy to use with different catagories for age, hobbies etc and I soon found the perfect items to buy. There was such a wide variety of of choices, all at affordable prices and it was very easy to navigate. Check out was straightforward and I liked that you could add gift wrap or a card. The package arrived quickly and was well packaged."

So there we go, a big thumbs up from Aunty Laura! So what did she choose? The parcel was delivered to her house (but gifts can also be delivered directly to recipients) and she bought it round to my parents one Sunday afternoon. Elliot was beside himself with excitement and couldn't wait to tear into the box!!

Laura chose him My First Microscope and a Live Butterfly Garden - both perfect choices for Elliot! He loves to learn and he's really into nature so both these items were very well received. 

The microscope is really nice and very bright and sturdy, perfect for his age group. He has spent lots of time looking at items under it and most things in his toy box have studied! 

 The butterfly garden is a brilliant gift and perfect for a nature lover like Elliot.The box includes a voucher which is sent off to claim your caterpillars and once they arrive you can watch them grow up to ten times their size before transforming into chrysalides. I like the fact that the butterfly habitat is reusable so you can use it again and again each year. The caterpillars can only be sent off for between March - September so we are going to save this activity for next Spring and Elliot can't wait to grow his own butterflies!

We were all really impressed with all that Wicked Uncle had to offer, there is so much choice on the website but it was good to see different items that you wouldn't normally pick for gifts. I will definitely use the website in future for those hard to buy children!

*Disclaimer - Laura was sent a £40 voucher to exchange for Wicked Uncle gifts but all views are my own

Thursday 15 September 2016

Aquafresh Brushtime App - Review

I sometimes joke that brushing Elliot's teeth is like trying to put socks on a dancing octopus.....not the easiest job in the world!! He's got a habit of chewing on the toothbrush and although I know he's got a giant mouth, he never wants to open it wide when I'm brushing!

To help with this tricky task, Aquafresh have a clever little app that makes brush time SO much easier! It helps teach the right way to brush teeth, for the correct amount of time but also keep things fun. Which is very important for children, especially if they aren't a fan of teeth brush time!

The Brushtime app allows you to customise it to your preferences. Firstly you can pick a character , either Captain Aquafresh or Billy Nurdle. There are more options but these have to be unlocked - the more you use the app, the more options you will have. Next you can choose your scenery (our favourite is the mouth!) and then the music. You can then select your dance (the silly one gets the thumbs up here) and then you're good to go!

The app counts down from 2 minutes so your child will know how long to keep brushing for. It will also give instructions on brushing such as "change sides!" or "halfway there!".

Elliot really enjoyed using the app and it has certainly helped him with brushing for the recommended time - me also actually. It's too easy to whizz through brushing and 2 minutes is longer than you think!

The app is free and can be downloaded from Google Play and iTunes store.

*Disclaimer - We were sent Aquafresh toothpaste and an iTunes voucher in return for this review. As always, all views are my own

Monday 12 September 2016

Looking back at Summer '16...

It doesn't seem 5 minutes since we were looking ahead at the Summer Holidays way back in July but here we are in September. I had two aims at the start of the 6 weeks - to have fun, and to try not to spend much money! I probably spent more than we should have but we certainly had lots of fun!

Here's some of my favourite memories from the last 6 weeks....

Beach Day

We are really lucky to live on the South Coast and we are spoilt for choice with beaches. Although saying this, we never go to the beach!! I'm not a fan of sand and the big beaches are always packed in the Summer but I made sure we had at least one beach day over the hols. We stayed local and went to a small beach that is nice and shallow for paddling. We met up with some friends and the kids had a great time! One thing though, why is it never possible to travel light to the beach?! I had picnic bag, picnic blanket, a camping chair, bucket and spade, child, beach stuff, various dinosaurs..!!

Kingston Lacy, Dorset

I've written about Kingston Lacy before on my blog but it is one of our favourite places to go in Dorset. It's a stunning stately home with beautiful grounds to explore and is owned by the National Trust. We are NT members so it's a great place to go for a cheap day out with the kids! 

We visited on a boiling hot day and we had a lovely picnic in the shade of the giant oak trees next to the house. We then wandered down through the estate to the Kitchen Gardens where you can find allotments, pigs and plenty of ride on tractors to entertain small ones! There's a little kiosk selling ice creams and drinks and these were certainly appreciated on such a hot day. 

Celebrity Stalking - A List Style!

I used to love a bit of celebrity stalking in my younger years....Boyzone, Jared Leto, Ant & Peter Andre! Being a Mum it's usually limited to CBeebies presenters these days but over the Summer I found out that a new film was being shot in Swanage which is around half an hour from where I live. In that film were a couple of unknowns called Tom Hardy and Harry Styles, I doubt you've heard of them! ;) I'd been planning a day trip to Swanage so we thought we'd combine the two and see what we could spot. Not a lot happens in sleepy Swanage so it was a big deal! 

The majority of the filming was taking place at the railway station so we headed there and had a nosy around. The kids enjoyed looking at the trains while we tried hard to not make it look like we were on stalking mode!! We spotted some paparazzi so my friend managed to climb a wall (wearing a dress I might add!) and she did get a glimpse of Harry Styles! 

Apart from the wall climbing, I thought we were being quite discreet (not like some of the shouty 1D fans we saw!) but then I came home that evening to find we'd been filmed for the local evening news......cringe!!

Park Life

We have some really great parks near to where we live and we spent lots of time there over the Summer holidays. We have a brilliant country park just down the road which has lots of nature walks, things to climb on and in the Summer there are splash fountains which we have enjoyed lots over the Summer - good for cooling down on a hot day! We actually visited on a few rainy days too rather than being cooped up indoors. They also do amazing ice creams! 

Our other favourite park has a big paddling pool which Elliot loves and we've visited on numerous occasions over the last  few months - sometimes it's hard getting him out of the water though!! 

Days at Home

To keep costs down we've had lots of days at home and the paddling pool has certainly had a battering!! We moved house last year and our bungalow has a lovely little garden that catches the sun just right so it's perfect for playing in. The slide was a new addition and Elliot loves nothing more than hurtling down into the paddling pool! 

What did you get up to over the Summer Holidays?

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Monday 5 September 2016

Drumond Park's Pickin' Chickens Game - Review & Giveaway!

Pickin' Chickens is a brand new game from Drumond Park, suitable for 2-4 players and children age 4+. It immediately appealed to Elliot - it's bright and he said it looked funny with the boys running away with the chickens!

The premise of the game is simple - you need to help Farmer Giles keep his chickens safe from the sneaky fox.

Set up was nice and straight forward and no batteries needed which is a big plus! You just pop the chicken coops onto the gaps on the round spinner (the pasture), make sure the fox is pushed down, place the chickens in a pile to the side and you are good to go. The game can be varied slightly for younger and older children but we went with the older kids version and although Elliot is only 3 (almost 4), he had no issues with this.

All players take a Chicken Card and the youngest person takes the first go. They'll need to give the pasture a good spin and then once it stops, everyone can choose a chicken coop. Once they have removed the coop it will reveal an image of a farmer or a chicken. If they get the farmer then that player will need to pick up the farmer card and place it next to their chicken card. Somebody may already have the farmer card so it can be taken from them.

If the coop reveals a chicken then that player must take a chicken from the pile, making sure they have the correct colour to match the image and then place this on their chicken card.

The game continues until the first person to collect all their chickens. Of course that would be nice and simple but what about the fox?! He's out to get the chickens so he will randomly pop up...this will make you jump!! If he jumps up then all players must lose one of their chickens.....unless they have the Farmer card in which case their chickens are safe. Once everyone has given up a chicken, Mr Fox is pushed back down and the Farmer card goes back in the middle all ready for the next spin.

This is a really fun game for children and we really enjoyed playing it. I love the anticipation of not knowing when the fox is going to jump up and it made us jump out of our skins everytime!

It's nice and simple to use and suitable for the whole family. Just beware of that fox ;)

Pickin' Chickens has a RRP of £19.99 - for more information and stockists, please visit

If you'd like to win your very own Pickin' Chickens game, please follow the instructions below: a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Sunday 4 September 2016

Win Tickets to The Baby Show, London - October 2016

The Baby Show with MadeForMums, is returning to London, Olympia from the 21st to 23rd October 2016.

As the ultimate shopping event for new and expectant parents,  the show will host around 200
exhibitors who will be on hand to help visitors make decisions like choosing the right buggies for
their price range and lifestyle, selecting the best car seat to suit their vehicle and purchasing some
beautiful nursery furniture for their homes. It’s the only show to feature all the major baby retailers
alongside market leading brands including iCandy, Stokke, UppaBaby, Britax, East Coast Nursery
and MAM who will all be selling amazing products with equally amazing discounts!

The Baby Show highlights include:

  • Over 200 trusted brands offering visitors amazing discounts and the chance to test and compare before they buy
  • See exclusive product launches and demonstrations from market leading brands
  • Discover irresistible boutique products and brands
  • The Baby Show Stage with MadeForMums will feature a selection of renowned experts including baby feeding specialist Annabel Karmel MBE
  • Free consultations with pregnancy and baby care advisors at the One-To- One With The Experts area
  • Catwalk shows with all the latest fashions in maternity, baby and toddler wear.
  • Exclusive show offers and competitions from top parenting brands
  • A buggy testing track provided by MadeForMums
  • Emma’s Diary free Shop & Drop and Collect-By- Car services allowing you to leave your shopping bags with them until you’re ready to leave.
  • A complimentary crèche where parents can drop off their little ones and enjoy the Show knowing they are being safely cared for
  • A dedicated feeding area provided by Tommee Tippee and a Superdrug Changing Area with free wipes and nappies all included.

The Baby Show is taking place on Friday 21st , Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd October, open from 10:00am-5:30pm each day. Standard on the door tickets are £20 and we have two pairs to give away! To enter the giveaway, follow the instructions below...

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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