Monday 17 October 2016

Halloween with Home Bargains

Halloween is one of my favourite times of year and it's great that Elliot has inherited this love of mine! We will be hosting not one but two Halloween parties this year so we've been on the look out for spooky things that will make our parties extra special. Home Bargains have a brilliant range of Halloween supplies and we were sent a bumper box of goodies to try out...

They have literally covered all angles with decorations, costumes, crafts, sweets and even pumpkin carving kits!

The first thing Elliot picked out of the box was the skeleton costume - he loves dressing up so is definitely going to get lots of wear over the Halloween half term week! Home Bargains have a fab range of costumes and prices start at £4.99 which is an absolute bargain.

If your little skeleton isn't a fan of masks (they never stay on Elliot) then there is always the option of painting their faces instead. The family make up kit is only £2.99 and has a range of sponges and colours so you'll be able to have a practise before the big night! (There are some great Halloween make up tutorials on YouTube that I've spent far too long watching this morning....)

Make up kit - £2.99
Skeleton costume - £4.99
For all your trick or treating needs, Home Bargains have plenty of sweets, treats and even a ghostly loot scoop! Elliot was very taken with his loot scoop and has been testing it out all week ;) The big bags of sweets are great value, the only trouble I find is that I'm tempted to open them early and by the time Halloween comes, I'm out of sweets! (Just me?!)

Loot scoop - 99p
Pumpkin Jar with marshmallows - £1.99
Swizzels monster treats - £1.99
As we are hosting two Halloween parties this year we will be going to town on decorating and I love getting Elliot involved too. One of the most effective things you can buy is the spider webs and spiders - for only 99p you get a really large bag and I find this goes a long way. The more you stretch it, the creepier and cobweb-like it looks! The pumpkin LED lights are a great idea as they are battery powered and obviously don't need plugging in which gives you a bit more flexibility in where you are decorating. I like to drape them over my fireplace with lots of LED candles (safer!) and plenty of cobwebs. The plaques are great value too at 79p!

Pumpkin Lights - £2.99
Web & Spiders - 99p
Halloween Plaque - 79p 
The last thing for us to test was the pumpkin carving sets (99p)- the kits come with a tool that has a serrated edge, perfect for making your pumpkins as scary as possible plus a really useful scooper for getting the insides out. (That is my least favourite bit about pumpkin carving!). If you're not feeling very creative then you can also buy pumpkin push-ins (59p) which is a fantastically cheap and cheats way of making your pumpkin spooky without the work!

I'll be posting lots of photos from our Halloween party on our social media (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) so look out for these and let me know what you think of our decorating skills!

The Halloween range at Home Bargains can be found online  and instore

*Disclaimer - All items were sent to us for the purpose of this review. All views are my own

Halloween & Aututmn Crafts with Baker Ross

I love this time of year as the season changes into Autumn. I love spending cosy days at home in the warm drinking hot chocolate and looking ahead to Christmas! I like to have a well stocked craft cupboard for those kind of days so Elliot is kept entertained and not wanting to go on his iPad all day. (Because trust me, he would if I let him!)

Baker Ross have an amazing selection of craft goodies for kids and adults and I'm a big fan of their kits - they are perfect for a quiet afternoon at home when your children want to get crafty but you don't fancy getting the play doh and paints out again ;)

We are part of the Baker Ross Bloggers Network and now and again they send us lots of lovely goodies to try out. Last week we received a big box just in time for Halloween and we couldn't wait to see what was inside!

Fibre Tip Pens - £1.98 for 3 packs
Autumn Friends Stickers - £2.99 for 100
Friendship Bracelets - £1.80 for 12
Halloween Dotty Art - £3.99 for 8

Elliot was really excited to see the photo frame kits because we had a set of these in a previous box and he absolutely loved making them. They are perfect for pre-schoolers are theres no gluing involved and all the foam parts are pre-cut. The only bit Elliot needed a hand with was cutting the photos to size. 

As you can see, they look really good when finished! The only slight issue was that the magnet wasn't quite strong enough on the back to hold the frame but I just added a bit of strong glue to the back and it was fine. They are now taking pride of place on our fridge :) 

The next activity we did was the dotty pictures. I've not seen these before but they are really simple, yet effective and a great activity for kids as they can do by themselves!

I love the cute little Day of the Dead themed gift bags and think this would make a great activity for parties or playdates. They are quite small little bags but perfect to put a few Halloween treats in! 

We've not had the chance to try out the Leaf Sand Decorations yet but with half term just around the corner, this is a really fun activity to bring out on a rainy day. We tried out the Summery Sand Art in our last Baker Ross and it was a bit hit so we are looking forward to doing the Autumn themed one! 

Lots of the Halloween stuff has now been reduced on the Baker Ross website so get on over there!

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

Sunday 16 October 2016

A Family Friendly Holiday to Majorca

It has become a bit of a tradition in our house to get away for a holiday in September - last year it was Florida and the year before that Cyprus. This year has been slightly different as I'm pregnant so a long haul flight wasn't really an option!

We decided to try somewhere different and opted for Port de Pollenca in Majorca. Not only is it just a 2 hour flight from the UK but we were able to fly from our local airport Bournemouth which is a real bonus and much easier for families travelling with children.

Accommodation - Playa Mar

We booked with Thomson and picked the Aparthotel Playa Mar due to it's brilliant reviews on Trip Advisor and location. The hotel was very family friendly and perfect for us - and it certainly lived up to the glowing reviews! Our apartment had a large bedroom with two single bed, plus a double sofa bed in the lounge. There was a large bathroom, kitchenette and a balcony overlooking the pool. We were situated quite close to the bar so I was concerned it might be too noisy in the evenings but we needn't have worried. The entertainment finished at 1030pm and Elliot was so exhausted each day that he fell asleep with no interruptions from the noise! There was different entertainment each night including a magic show, acrobatics and Jackson 5 tribute - Elliot got picked to be in the magic show which he loved!

The hotel had a brilliant splash park for children and Elliot spent lots of time in this over the week. There was also several waterslides which were really popular with him! The swimming pool had a large shallow area for children and was lovely and clean. The water was absolutely freezing but soon warmed up once you were in! Plenty of sunbeds to be had, we never had an issue finding somewhere to sit although I imagine this might be different in peak seasons. We travelled in late September so the resort wasn't as busy as it had been through the Summer Holidays. 

Although the hotel had a Thomsons kids club, we never actually made it to this! The hotel had a separate entertainment team who did lots of activities for the children - we took part in water polo, tshirt making, face painting, discos and even a birthday party for the hotel brand mascot! 

We went all inclusive which I think is so much easier when you have children. Before Elliot we would never have booked all inclusive, preferring to explore our local surroundings and finding local restaurants. But now I find it so much easier  - drinks and ice creams whenever you like, plus the variety of the buffet! The food was brilliant at our hotel - lots of choice and everything lovely and fresh. Each night there was a different theme such as Mexican, Asian and traditional Spanish. We all certainly ate very well! 

Port de Pollenca

Our hotel was situated on the outskirts of town but it was a pleasant 20 minute walk along the famous Pine Walk to reach the Marina. All along the Pine Walk there are shallow coves and the water is so clear. It was a really nice place to stop for a paddle and Elliot had lots of fun splashing about looking for fish! There are lots of restaurants situated along the Pine Walk and this would be a perfect spot for a drink and watching the world go by.

You might even spot the seaplane whilst walking along the Pine Walk - several times a day it takes off from the military base and scoops up water to drop on the scrub lands in the mountains to reduce fires. We didn't see it take off but we saw it fly over the hotel - it made me jump out of my skin as it was low!


We didn't eat out a great deal but on the occasions we did, it had to be tapas! We found a great little cafe one lunchtime which was tucked away on one of the side streets in Port de Pollenca. We ordered a mixed tapas and I wasn't really sure what to expect but it came out in a big dish with lots of yummy things like mushrooms, omelette, vegetables and potatoes. It doesn't sound very exciting but it was lovely! On another occasion we had tapas in Port de Soller and Elliot really really enjoyed it, but especially the squid. Personally one of my favourite things about eating out in Spain is fresh bread and aioli - I would have that with every meal!

Day Trips

We decided to hire a car on our holiday so we could explore a bit of the island. Majorca has so much to offer and we only really scratched the surface but here are some of our favourite things we discovered: 

Cap de Formentor

Cap de Formentor is the most Northerly point of Majorca and the views on your way up through the mountains are breathtaking. But not good for those of a nervous disposition...! We drove up from Port de Pollenca stopping at Mirador es Colomer. The views from this look out point are spectacular but I'd definitely recommend going early or late to beat the crowds - there's not much parking and it was a bit crazy with cars trying to pull over at every opportunity.

Mirador es Colomer
Mirador es Colomer - looking back towards Port de Pollenca
Leaving here and heading up to the Cap de Formentor, the roads were some of the most narrow and bendy I have ever been on. Combine this was lots of tourists in cars, plus lots of cyclists and it was a nerve-wracking drive. I felt my blood pressure rising! 

When we rounded the corner and saw the lighthouse at the Cap de Formentor in the distance, we were faced with a massive queue of cars all winding along the road up to the top. Rather than wait in line where it looked to be one in, one out of the car park we decided to turn round and head back. Pity, but maybe we will make it up there next time!

You can see the queue...gulp!
Port de Soller

Port de Soller is a pretty coastal village that we visited almost by accident. We had taken the scenic route through the mountains towards the town of Soller where the plan was to catch the train to Palma (a trip we had read about prior to our holiday) but ended up stopping off in Port de Soller and staying for a few hours! You can actually catch a tram from Port de Soller to Soller and Elliot had lots of fun waving at everyone who went past and shouting "Hola!"

The seafront has lots of bars and restaurants so we stopped for tapas at a place called Restaurante Mar y Sol, it made a nice change not to be eating at the hotel! We had a wander round the marina and sat and watched the world go by for a bit. It was a really bustling little area but it looked like there were a lot of organised excursions passing through - we spotted a fair few Thomson uniforms!

A visit to Alcudia's Old Town

One afternoon we drove down to Alcudia which is a little further on round the coast from Port de Pollenca. Alcudia is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Majorca and we were keen to have a look round the old town which we'd heard great things about.

Much of the old town is surrounded by a wall dating back to the 14th Century and we were able to climb and walk along some of this, with some great views across the beautiful houses and winding, narrow streets. Elliot was fascinated with the arrow loops in the wall!

The old town was really pretty and fortunately when we visited it wasn't too busy. I read that market days can be extremely busy and hectic but by visiting later in the day we missed the crowds. We stopped for a quick snack in one of the many cafes dotted along the streets and Elliot was tempted by all the lovely ice cream shops!

Exploring the Coast by Boat

I love going out on boat trips when on holiday and this time we decided to rent out our own boat, something we hadn't done before. We found a company based down at the marina in Port de Pollenca called Sea Adventure who were really helpful and we even got an upgrade on the boat to a slightly larger one! Elliot had a life jacket to wear and they even provided us with a cool box for our drinks so that was useful.

We had the boat from 9-2pm and this gave us plenty of time to make our way along the coastline and we were able to moor up for a swim in the sea which was refreshing! I was a bit wary and didn't really like not being able to touch the bottom however Elliot had no fear and jumped in several times!

All that swimming tired Elliot out and he actually fell asleep on the way back!

Spot the sleeping boy!

I feel like we have only really scratched the surface of what Majorca has to offer but we were so impressed with what we did see. It is the perfect location for a family holiday and I am pretty certain we will go back again!

Quite Frankly She Said Sunday BestCapturing Moments

Thursday 13 October 2016


Halloween is fast approaching and the UK is getting just as mad about this scary day as the USA.  That’s why America’s famous smooth and creamy SKIPPY® Peanut Butter, is the perfect ingredient to give your party a real American-style creepy yet creamy treat.

Terrifyingly easy to make together as a family, these SKIPPY® Peanut Butter Spooky Cookies are guaranteed to cast a spell over true peanut butter fans, to make your party stand out from the chilling crowd.

This frighteningly good peanut butter from across the petrified pond is super versatile and has a creamy texture that melts in the mouth.  It’s made from high-oleic American peanuts, so your treats will be healthy as well as horrifically good!

Why not conjure up these SKIPPY® SPOOKY COOKIES with your little ghouls and goblins.  A truly creepy confectionery that’s guaranteed to treat not trick your ghoulish guests.

·         1 jar of Smooth SKIPPY® Peanut Butter
·         340g all-purpose flour
·         1 teaspoon baking powder
·         1 teaspoon baking soda
·         1/4 teaspoon salt
·         170g butter
·         150g granulated sugar
·         165g firmly packed brown sugar
·         2 large eggs
·         1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1.      Heat oven to 180°C/ 350°F.

2.      In small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; mix well.

3.      In large bowl, beat together peanut butter and margarine with electric mixer until smooth. Beat in granulated and brown sugars, then eggs and vanilla until blended. Beat in flour mixture just until blended.

4.      Shape dough into 1-inch balls. On ungreased baking sheets, arrange cookies 2 inches apart. Bake 12 minutes or until lightly golden. If decorating like spiders, remove to cool on baking sheets 2 to 3 minutes. Decorate to look like spiders, if desired.

5.      If decorating like spiders, gently press mini chocolate button or chunk into top of each cookie while still warm. When chocolate starts to melt, attach thin pretzel "legs" by placing end of pretzel into melted chocolate. Cool completely then attach mini coated candy pieces for "eyes" and mini sugar pearls for "pupils" with peanut butter.

For more information and recipes, check out

Halloween Essentials!

We have been going a bit Halloween crazy here lately and Elliot and I are itching to start decorating our house for the Halloween parties we are having in the half term break. There are so many spooky things to buy in the shops and I've really had to stop buying everything I see! 

If you're throwing a party this Halloween, here's some of our fave essentials we have spotted on our travels: 

1. Spider Cookies made with Skippy* peanut butter - these would make a fab addition to any Halloween spread and certainly look a lot tastier than a real spider! For the recipe, please see here
2. LED Candlesticks (£17.96) - These spooky skull candlesticks would look great on a mantlepiece but the great thing is the candles are LED so much much safer than regular candles.
3. Rust-oleum Glow in the Dark Spray Paint* - If you're feeling creative, you could make some really spooky things with this spray paint. I quite like the idea of spray painting some fake bones for Halloween so they glow up at our party! Looking out for a spooky craft based post coming very very soon featuring several different spray paints from Rust-oleum.
4. Halloween at Asda - The supermarket Halloween ranges seem to just get better and better and this year Asda have pulled out all the stops with their fancy dress costumes
5. Aldi Prisoner in Cage* (£8.99) - This is one of my favourite Halloween things we have this year and I can't wait to scare our friends at our parties! The skeleton prisoner looks perfectly normal sat in his cage but then when you press the button, he opens the bars and his head pops out! He says several different phrases and his eyes flash red - spooky!
6. Halloween inspired dyes from Dylon* - Dylon have created a colour wheel featuring lots of vivid spooky colours such as Velvet Black and Emerald Green - perfect if you prefer to make your own costumes. We are testing out some of these colours (right now in my washing machine!) so I'll be posting about these in the lead up to Halloween.
7. Ghost & Bat Cheesy Snacks from Poundland - I love Poundland for picking up snacks and treats for parties and I will definitely be getting some of these for our parties
8. Aldi Twisting Skeleton* (£7.99) - Aldi have such a brilliant range of Halloween items this year and this one is another cracker! Press the skeleton's foot and he dances to "Let's Twist Again!". This song has been stuck in my head since we got this because Elliot likes to set him off at least 5 times a day....let's twist we did last Summer....!
9. Horror Pops from Original Candy Co Ltd* - Halloween and sweets go hand in hand and these detailed lollies would go down a treat with Trick or Treaters. Choose from three designs including skull head, skeleton and spider.

Do you celebrate Halloween? 

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

Friday 7 October 2016

Autumn Fashions with Elliot!

I've kind of been in denial that Summer is over and we've all been in our shorts and t-shirts up to very recently still! This week has been decidedly chiller though so I've been forced to retire the Summer clothes and dig out the jeans and jumpers. The only problem with that though is that Elliot seems to have had a massive growth spurt since Spring and all his trousers are now like ankle swingers!! He was still able to get away with aged 2-3 in shorts over the Summer but definitely not in trousers.

So this meant we needed to do some shopping! Fortunately there are some great things in the Supermarket ranges at the mo so we headed to Tesco where I found a sale on, woo! This is what Elliot picked:

Jeans - Tesco £5
Secret Life of Pets Tshirt - Tesco £3.50 (reduced from £7)
Cactus hoody Tesco £3 (reduced from £7)
Trainers - Brantano

I personally think the dog on the t-shirt is wearing a g string haha! But Elliot loves Secret Life of Pets so he really wanted this t-shirt and he's already worn it twice this week so its already a favourite!

I love the Cactus hoody, and I think the colour really suits him. The jeans were a bit too long but this was a better option than his previous ankle swingers! And least he'll get a couple of years wear out of them ;)

I also got Elliot a really nice Spiderman raincoat which was half price at £7. His current raincoat is getting really small (he's been wearing it for the last 2 years!) so definitely time for a new one. It's got a nice fleecy lining too which will keep him snug over the next few months when it's not quite cold enough for his winter coat.

Have you picked up any bargains in the sales recently? 

The Diary of an Ordinary Mum

Pregnancy Update ~ Baby #2 (Weeks 22-23 & Gender Reveal!)

The weeks are flying by thick and fast now and we finally know the sex of our baby - yippeee!!!

Last week we had a holiday in Majorca and had a really lovely time. The temperature was perfect. it wasn't too hot so this was a relief for me, didn't want to be too uncomfortable! I wore compression socks on the flight even though it was only two hours but I still got swollen ankles which I expected - I usually get this even if I'm not pregnant! We were all inclusive and it was a shame I couldn't take advantage of the cocktails but I did enjoy lots of slush puppies which are a firm favourite of mine whilst pregnant!

My bump is well and truly out now and it feels alot firmer. Even my husband said "wow you look really pregnant now!".

No cravings really but appetite is a bit hit or miss. I always feel hungry but can't manage a big portion. I eat a little portion but then find I'm hungry again within an hour!

My sense of smell is driving me mad still - public toilets seem to be the worst culprit at the moment!! I was sick at the airport as the toilet was a bit whiffy, poor Elliot, I missed his head by inches!

20 Week Re-scan

If you read my last pregnancy update then you'll know that our 20 week scan was incomplete and we had to make another appointment. It was booked for the Monday morning after our holiday and I was really excited that we might finally finally find out the gender. We decided to take Elliot along too so I wondered how he'd take to seeing the baby on screen! 

We arrived at the maternity unit and the midwife looked at my notes and said "you're not in the system, you have the wrong date!" - what! I knew I'd definitely got the correct date and she was quite rude to be honest, even when she saw the details of the re-scan written in my notes she was still trying to make out I'd got it wrong. She even said "well you're booked in for another scan on the 2nd November, why is this?" - er, you tell me, you're the midwife! Fortunately she said they'd try and squeeze me in but I was a bit annoyed as I knew it would mean sitting in the waiting room for god knows how long and Elliot was due at pre-school in a few hours! 

After waiting for 45 minutes we were called in (finally!) and I was quite pleased that the sonographer was lovely and not mean like her colleague we had met earlier! She was able to get most of the measurements she needed but was struggling with the heart - the baby was in a really awkward position and no matter how much I moved and changed positions, she still couldn't see what she needed! So I was told to go for a wee and a drink and she'd call me in after the next person. 

Fortunately, on the next go the baby was positioned perfectly and she could see that the heart was all plumbed in as it should be and everything was fine. Phew!

The sonographer said this was a cute pic of the baby's profile but I think it looks like she has giant teeth and a beard!! 

So....I guess you're wondering if it's a boy or girl?! I've been convinced throughout the whole pregnancy that we are having a imagine my surprise when the sonographer tells me it's a girl!!!! 

It's a girl!

I was completely shocked and it's taken me a few days to get my head round it but I'm really excited that Elliot will have a little sister! It also makes the name options easier because I couldn't find any boys names I like whereas I have definite favourites for girls ;) 

Now I know the gender I've been able to start shopping and I've managed to pick up some lovely bits and bobs in the Tesco sale. I'm not a girly girl and I hated all the pink floral stuff in Asda but Tesco had lots of different colour bits which were more my cup of tea! 

So there we are, time to get organised now. I think January will here before we know it!

Twin Mummy and Daddy

Tuesday 4 October 2016

Drumond Park's Gross Magic - Review & Giveaway!

With Halloween just around the corner, Drumond Park have the perfect thing to whip out at your Halloween party to impress your friends! Gross Magic (RRP £19.99) is a fun set for children 8+ featuring over 40 tricks to thrill and gross out your audience. Featuring tricks containing yucky things like cockroaches and poo, this is bound to appeal to kids of all ages!

My husband is a big magic fan and it's a love he has passed onto Elliot. We've seen the legendary Penn and Teller in Vegas and Elliot recently took part in a magic show whilst we were on holiday in Majorca! We've had magic kits before but nothing quite as gross as this and the boys couldn't wait to test it out!

The magic kit was a little too old for Elliot as he is only 3 and the tricks take a bit of reading and practising but he enjoyed helping his Daddy out. The first trick they did involved bogies - there is a literally a whole section devoted to bogey tricks and this definitely appealed to their sense of humour!!

Some of the tricks do seem quite tricky to master so I would definitely recommend having an adult to help out but there are so many tricks to try out that I'm sure as your magic skills improve, you can work up to the harder ones!

The boys have spent lots of time perfecting their tricks and I can't wait to see what they come up with next!

If you would like to win your very own Gross Magic, please see below for details on how to enter: a Rafflecopter giveaway
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