Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Giveaway: Win The Ultimate Kids' Party Package At Hollywood Bowl Dagenham

To celebrate their 1st anniversary, the folks at Hollywood Bowl Dagenham are offering Counting to Ten readers the chance to win a kids’ birthday party package.

A child bowling at Hollywood Bowl Dagenham

Saturday, 8 December 2018

Lost and found: a tale of friendships

Recently I went into London on a Saturday afternoon to meet some lovely people for afternoon tea. I got off the tube at Tottenham Court Road and walked along Charing Cross Road to the National Portrait Gallery. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised about how busy it was just a month before Christmas. The combination of people doing their Christmas shopping and those heading out to socialise meant lots of crowds. In amongst the crowds I saw people I recognised, not the overly made up super stylish women, but some normal looking women with smooth skin, groups of friends and no signs of motherhood. I recognised me of 10 years ago, and it made me think.

Afternoon tea with blogging mum friends at the National Portrait Gallery, London

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Strictly Come Dancing The Board Game Review and Giveaway

Are you a Strictly fan? I love to watch Strictly Come Dancing and I dream of going on the show. I guess I would probably have to become famous first, or at least infamous. I think the first series I watched was 7 years ago, but impressively it has been running since 2004! Clearly us Brits love the glamour, the dancing, and of course the gossip too. If you know any Strictly fans then there is the perfect present for them this Christmas: Strictly Come Dancing The Board Game. I have been sent a copy of the John Adams game to review and I was excited to get dancing, and laughing, as soon as possible. There is also a giveaway to win a copy of the game at the end of this post.

Playing Strictly Come Dancing The Board Game to review it

Monday, 3 December 2018

Herodrive Review: DC Super Friends Toy Vehicles for Preschoolers

My youngest is really into her superheroes at the moment; they are her favourite things to draw (so she says, I haven’t yet managed to distinguish any of her pictures) and she loves to run around with a cape on, maybe with the addition of a magic wand too because why not? She was really excited when we received a selection of Herodrive vehicles to review and both she and her big sister have been playing with them regularly since I let them get them out of the box.  The Herodrive products from Funrise feature a range of vehicles mashed up with DC Super Friends characters like Batman and Superman. They are designed to be fast and fun for preschoolers and we were sent: a Batman Racer, a Superman Signal Squad Car and two Mash Machines to review.

Review of the Herodrive DC Super Friends Preschooler Toy cars

Wednesday, 28 November 2018

My Independent Chatterbox: A development leap in my 2 year old

Children are constantly changing, but sometimes you look at them and you notice that they have suddenly made a huge jump in how they look or act. Little has just turned 34 months old, (yes I know I should just say nearly 3, but I’m trying to be accurate) and in the last few weeks there has been a definite change in her. I stopped doing her monthly updates nearly a year ago so I thought I would write this post to record the milestone.  Are there still development leaps at this age? This nearly “nearly out of the terrible twos leap” has seen her communication improve and her a growing determination to have her own way (not that she has had a terrible two’s, I feel our “horror year” is yet to come).

Toddler building a tower with colourful Grimms wooden pieces

Tuesday, 27 November 2018

Pregnancy Update: Week 32

Well it was going to happen at some point and my 32nd week of pregnancy was the week where I started using 2 pillows at night to sleep in a more upright position. I don’t want to give the impression that there are just 2 pillows on my side of the bed, I tend to have one or two around my body to stop me rolling over and support me, but this week was the week that heartburn caused me to need to be more upright. A definite pregnancy milestone.

Standing in the autumnal forest with a 32 week bump

Friday, 23 November 2018

Newborn Baby Essentials You Really Need from A Third Time Mum

The internet is full of shopping lists claiming to include the essentials you need when you are having a baby. Having read through many lists in the past I’ve been confused why some items are recommended as "must haves". This list is different, it contains the tried and tested products I have used before with my newborn babies and that I will be using again this time. Items aren’t in here because of obligations to promote them, they are all genuinely products I intend to use and confidently recommend to others. The post does contain affiliate links, but only to items I use myself, it wont cost you any extra if you buy through these links.

A mothers hand holding a newborn baby hand

Thursday, 22 November 2018

Review of Dobble, the Quick Paced Family Card Game

As it gets colder we have been spending more time inside playing games, well that and watching TV, but I'll gloss over that! We were sent Dobble to review and it makes a great addition to our games collection. The family card game from Asmodee is suitable for age 6 and upwards and is played with 2 to 8 players. It is a fast moving fun game which is really easy to learn how to play.

An excited child holding Dobble Family Card Game in it's packaging

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Ultra Dash Review: The Competitive Game That Gets your Family Moving

I first discovered the Ultra Dash game at the Toy Fair in January and I straight away asked if I could review it because I thought it looked great fun. Fast forward to November and I finally got my hands on it. Why was I so keen to review this game? It’s a game that encourages children (and adults) to get active by appealing to their competitive spirits. I initially thought it would be great fun to play in our garden, but as it’s a bit muddy out there at the moment we have been playing it inside and it works really well.

Looking happy while playing the Ultra Dash game inserting the Trigger into the pink Target

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Visiting Santa's Grotto at Wyevale Garden Centre, Braintree (Review)

Christmas is coming and like many families we enjoy visiting a grotto in the run up to get us in the Christmas spirit. There are so many places to choose from which range in the level of experience and the price. Which sort of Christmas grotto you want to visit will depend on your budget, the personality of your children and the time you have available. This year we were invited to Wyevale Garden centre in Braintree to see Santa, or Father Christmas as I prefer to call him. It is a short and low cost grotto experience with prebooked slots so you don’t need to queue.

Santa's Grotto this way