Sunday, 30 April 2017

10 Reasons To Encourage Children To Write Letters

When was the last time you wrote a letter by hand? I can’t remember when I last did. Of course I write birthday cards and I send emails to stay in touch with family, but actually putting pen to paper and writing to someone? It seems to be a dying art. In a recent post I asked the same question and for many readers it had been years since they had written a letter. 

It’s a shame because I love getting post. It doesn’t matter what it is, I get a thrill from opening the envelope and discovering what is inside. I have worked in jobs where I would offer to go the post room just so I could get the team's post and open it all. My eldest daughter loves getting post too, there might just be a pretty picture inside, but her face lights up when she reads her name on the envelope.

A 5 year old girl sitting at the table opposite her sister at the dining table. They are both drawing with colouring pencils

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

No Sick Days

Anyone who says being a stay at home parent is the "best job in the world” is talking rubbish. The hours are long, there is no annual leave, it pays well below minimum wage and worst of all THERE ARE NO SICK DAYS. I’m not saying there aren’t benefits; I’m often rewarded with a gift of half chewed food or a request for cuddles…at 3 in the morning. I enjoy the luxury of getting to go to the park on warm sunny days. No so much on the freezing cold, wet days while my little one spends 27 minutes playing with a muddy stick. 

The title text of "NOT the best job in the world" on a faded background with a blue rug covered in ELC Happyland toys

Monday, 24 April 2017

Giveaway: National Stationery Week 2017

I love stationery. I’ve always loved stationery. As a little girl I often asked for pens, notepads, pencils and a variety of other products for my presents. Despite the increased competition from iPads and other electronic devices my eldest daughter shares the love and can often be happily found writing away in a notepad (even before she knew how to write actual letters). If I get a new pen or notepad I have to keep it hidden or it quickly becomes hers.

Today is the start of National Stationery Week and I’m excited to be a part of it. I am launching a giveaway to win a lovely pen and notepad set from Sheaffer and later in the week I will be sharing a post about the importance of letter writing with children.

4 Stabilo sensor pens in purple, green pink and blue with text saying National Stationery Week 24-30 April 2017

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Review: Molly Monster Film

You are a little monster and your parents love you, but what happens when Mummy is going to lay an egg? Molly is excited to be getting a sibling, but her wind up toy Edison isn’t so happy about it. Molly Monster by Ted Sieger is a film aimed at preschoolers which explores families and friendship. It’s released nationwide in the UK on 21st July 2017 and we had a preview.

Molly a yellow monster with a red star on and Edison her small blue wind up friend standing on a train

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Visiting Whipsnade Zoo With Young Children

Whipsnade is a lovely Zoo in Bedfordshire where the animals have large enclosures. This is great for the residents, but is less ideal for young children because some of the animals are difficult to see and there is a lot of walking to get around the zoo. Here is my advice on how to have a great visit to Whipsnade Zoo with under under fives.

The red entry sign to the Zoo which says "ZSL Whipsnade Zoo" with text before it saying "visiting" and afterwards "with young children"

Monday, 17 April 2017

How To Play The Disney Princess Trading Card Game

So you have collected a big stack of Disney Princess Cards, but what do you do with them? Here is how to play the Disney Princess Trading Card Game from Topps and a few other game ideas.

Title text with "Games To Play With Topps Disney Princess Cards" over faded out pile of cards


Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Review: Flex The Social Home Workout

Do you struggle to find the time to workout? Is it hard to get childcare so you can go out and exercise? Are you intimidated by the idea of all those fit and coordinated class attendees? Would you like to get fitter, tone up or lose weight? If so you should check out Flex, exercise classes you can do at home (even in your garden).

Me attempting to do a plank in the garden while my 1 year old sits on me. Covered with text saying "Flex Review: Fitness Classes at Home"

Monday, 10 April 2017

10 ways to Keep Babies Cool in Hot Weather

It’s been a lovely sunny few days and I’ve got a touch of sunburn. The first bit of sunny weather always seems to catch me by surprise. I’ve now shaved my legs, found my skirts and dug out the suncream. All ready for the cooler weather to return1 At least I will be ready when the warm weather comes back.

Before I hear another comment asking “Is that our Summer over?” I would like to point our it’s only April and there will be even warmer days to come this year (or I’ll eat my sun hat). If you have a little person like me it will be really important to protect their delicate skin and keep them cool when the warm weather returns so here are 10 suggestions to keep babies and toddlers cool on hot days.

Picture of a baby in pink sunglasses and title text of "10 ways to keep babies and toddlers cool"


Sunday, 9 April 2017

Mid Week Family Meal Ideas With Dolmio

Friday night is take away night, at the weekend we often have a roast and maybe a barbecue, Monday might be leftovers, but by midweek we are often running short on time and ideas for a tasty, healthy meal which will please everyone. We were challenged by Britmums and Dolmio to come up with a #ThankGoodness mid-week meal including a jar of Dolmio Bolognese sauce that would please the whole family. After we received a hamper of food I was full of ideas and ready to get creating a few recipes.

2 jars of Dolmio original Bolognese sauce surrounded by vegetables with title text "Family meal recipes inspired by Dolmio"


Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Review: Disney Princess Trading Card Game

We love Disney. We have films, soundtracks, dolls, jigsaws, princess dresses, mugs, duvet covers, the list goes on a while. M and I are particularly big fans of the Disney Princesses and I will admit I bought the Disney Princess Album for me to sing along to rather than for M. So when we were asked if we were interested in reviewing the Topps Disney Princess Trading Card Game I didn’t need to ask if M was interested before accepting.

A selection of Disney Princess Trading Game cards spread around in a mess


Monday, 3 April 2017

Easter Activities for Children in Essex

Edit: This list is for 2017, if you want to find out about Easter 2018 activities click here.

If you are looking for ideas of where to go in Essex this Easter there are a huge number of options. I’ve pulled together a list of local Easter themed activities (think more egg hunts and easter bunny than religious events). Some are just on for a day and need pre-booking, but many of the normal great days out have extra activities on throughout the holidays. Locations mostly in South Essex (plus a few others which are worth travelling too).

Title "Easter activities for children mostly in Essex" on a backdrop of coloured foil wrap eggs from the coop