Friday, 16 June 2017

Hand Crafted Fathers Day

Anyone who knows me knows i love crafting, any excuse to break the craft box and I'm there!

So you can imagine my delight when i had to plan a crafting activity to do with 30+ children, all under the age of 3 for playgroup...... my mind runs wild!

Obviously we need a card for dear 'old' Dad, but we cant just have any old card! Nope we made snazzy masking tape cards, brightly coloured in a range of toddler style.

How do we make said cards? 

You will need.......

~ Blank card ~
~ Masking tape ~
~ Your chosen design, we had 3 designs - Super Dad - #1 Dad - Happy Fathers Day ~

Start by taping up your message.

Make sure your tape is firmly pressed onto the paper.

Have your child go wild with the paints.

Leave to dry BUT NOT TOTALLY DRY, remove the masking tape before it is completely dry as not to crack and pull off the paint.

And its as easy as that!! 
Hand made toddler cards that the kids have loved making and haven't cost you a packet from the shops!

Now for our hand print keyrings........some of the parents thought id lost the plot when i told them that we had to cook them!

I promise you wont be buying a new oven by the end of this!

You will need ........

~ Shrink plastic ~
~ Acrylic paint ~
~ Hole punch ~
~ Marker pen ~
~ Mod Podge ~
~ Paint brush ~

***All supplies were purchased from The Range***

Paint your child's hand in your chosen colour of paint, make sure you give it a good covering but doing make it dripping.

Firmly press your child's painted hand onto the shrink plastic, make sure you hold the plastic down when removing your child's hand.

Leave to dry.

Once dry, write your child's name and age (if you wish) cut out and punch a hole into the plastic *this MUST be done BEFORE cooking as you wont be able to do it after*

Place your hand print onto a baking try, lined with baking paper to prevent it from sticking, into a pre heated oven (160°) for 1 - 3 minutes. You can watch the plastic shrink before your eyes...... don't panic if you see your plastic curling up, it will flatten out in the end.

Leave to cool and finish with a coat of Mod Podge to give your hand print a nice shine, this will also stop the paint from coming off over time.

And there you have it! 
Your very own child's hand print keyring to treasure forever!!

As you can tell from the pictures some of the parents have sent me the activity was a hit with both parents and children!!

Have a wonderful Fathers Day!!!

*All thoughts and photos are our own.

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

A book full of chuckles with David Baddiel

Nothing warms my heart more than seeing my daughter curled up with a book..... and you know its a good one when you hear her chuckle, snort and belly laugh her way through it!

What book caused this reaction i hear you ask?
None other than David Baddiel's AniMalcolm.

A story about Malcolm and his animal obsessed family. Now being animal obsessed is ok, unless your'e Malcolm. You see, Malcolm has a dislike for animals (crazy i know) but each to their own. So you can imagine the horror when he finds out that his year 6 school trip is to......THE FARM!!!

Now you have to feel sorry for poor Malcolm at this point, the poor boy has to spend the next few days surrounded by the thing he dislikes most in his life BUT how will he feel once hes spent a few days AS the animals?! Yep poor Malcolm somehow ends up as the animals... looks... smells... acts like all the different animals hes surrounded by, at the end of the trip will Malcom become his animal disliking self or a new animal loving Malcolm? Only a read of this book will tell you because we definitely wont spoil this must read book for you!

Have a sneak peek on what Animalcolm is all about with this fab book trailer....

This book had our daughter (aged 12) in fits of laughter, at one point she said 'Could you imagine being a Cat or a Monkey?! Might be fun at first until it comes to bath time!' made me think for a second until i saw our own cat having a wash!

She said it was an easy read, easy to get into and easy to pick up again once she had put it down. The little drawings kept us entertained and our youngest (aged 2 ) made all the animal noises along the way. We also enjoyed the numbered after thoughts at the bottom of the pages, we'd also love to know if penguins can understand pigeon?!?

She would definitely recommend it to all her friends (both boys and girls as its certainly one for them all) and shes also asked if we can get David's other books for her, that's a BIG thumbs up from us!!

You can find AniMalcolm on Amazon and other book related websites /stores.
We hope you enjoy it as much as our daughter did,

*Sponsored post. All thoughts and photos are our own.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

In our book corner with Maverick Books

I've always loved books,but since having my youngest daughter my passion for children's books has gone through the roof! 

I can't walk through the supermarket without stopping by the book section and having a peek at the latest releases. There's something about the children's section that draws me in, whether that be the author or the amazing illustrations i just cant get enough!!

So let me introduct you to Maverick Childrens Books.....

Maverick Childrens Books

Maverick was launched in 2009 by Steve Bicknell and now has over 60 books in print and another 36 due to be published this year!
They believe that with everyone leading such busy lifestyles it is important for children to spend the time with adults sharing and engaging over a picture book and i couldn't agree more!!

Over the last few months Maverick have sent us a pretty awesome collection of books,

Mr Mustachio
As Nice As Pie
A Knit And A Knot
The New LiBEARian
Stone Underpants
The Snowflake Mistake

And they have soooooo many more titles available so make sure you check out their website, but for now, onto our book reviews.

Mr Mustachio
Written by Yasmin Finch
Illustrated by Abigail Tompkins

Mr Mustachio has the most fantabulous moustache, of which he is very proud. 
But one day an impromptu picnic leads to a moustache disaster!

Poor Mr Mustachio, when he gets into a tangle there's only one thing for it *snip snip* 

A fun little story that has the whole village involved to help Mr Mustachio...... i do hope we see him with his banana-tash!


As Nice As Pie
Written by Gary Sheppard
Illustrated by Tim Budgen

Mavis loves cooking and sharing, but when some greedy birds take advantage of her generosity, she cooks up a plan and serves them a lesson!

Now i knew Mavis was digging herself a hole feeding those birds in her garden, what i wasn't expecting was how she was going to deal with them!
I wont spoil it but Mavis, you sneaky lady!!
A brilliant read written by Gary and those illustrations by Tim are absolutely amazing!! Bright colourful and detailed.

A Knit And A Knot
Written by Amanda Brandon
Illustrated by Catalina Echeverri

Granny Mutton loves to knit and so does Little Lionel, even though his kitting is a little messy!
When Granny's Mutton's wool goes missing. Little Lionel plays detective to track it down.
Can he solve the mystery?

Who doesn't like a detective story? Especially when its in the form of cute little Lionel!
Bight, Coulourful and very entertaining for the little ones, and those mice in their little mice cots (so cute)

The New LiBEARian
Written by Alison Donald
Illustrated by Alex Willmore

It's storytime at the library but Miss Merryweather, the librarian, is missing!
Dee and her friends go in the search of her but instead find a father hairy, new liBEARian!

For me personally, this book was my favourite. From the small details of the library stamp on the cover to the beautiful illustrations as the children walk through the bookshelves, that tiny little alien peeking over the bookcase and the sneaky octopus with his eye patch and spyglass ...... love it!!

The little ones enjoyed ROARING along with the liBEARian :)

Stone Underpants
Written by Rebecca Lisle
Illustrated by Richard Watson

Pod is freezing... then he has the great idea of making underpants!
But in the stone age there isn't much to make the fro, or is there?

Who knew the word UNDERPANTS could cause a fit of laughter?!! 
I took this to read to the kids at the playgroup i run and it was a hit! The words BOTTOM and UNDERPANTS were received by a fair few giggles from everyone and no one wanted Pod's version of underwear, especially the mud ones! Its definitely one of our favourite reads.

Its bright pictures, animals and bugs kept everyone entertained and Richard defiantly earned his title of illustrator!

The Snowflake Mistake
Written by Lou Treleaven
Illustrated by Maddie Frost

In the Snow Queen's palace high above the clouds, a magical snowflake machine chugs away. One day Princess Ellie is left in charge but when the machine malfunctions, she must come up with a solution to make sure there is snow!

My little one loved this book, she kept looking out of the widow every time i mentioned snow and loved pointing out all the different snowflakes. 
Its a sweet little story that shows even though something isn't 'perfect' it can still be pretty! 
Its a bright and colourful book with fab illustrations, i especially liked the clothes looking like they were made out of real fabric.

I loved the snowflake making instructions at the back of the book.

If your children are book fans or you're looking for some great books to have story time with then i HIGHLY recommend Maverick books, there truly is something for everyone.

Be sure to check out Mavericks Facebook, Twitter and Website.

*Books sent for review. Thoughts, views and photos are 100% our own.

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

#PassTheStoryOn with Tesco

We all love a good book, especially when it comes to kiddies book.....the colours, characters and quality time spent wit your child reading his or her's favourite book, there's nothing better!
So when Kate over at Whimsical Mumblings asked me to join her in the Tesco's #PassTheStoryOn campaign i jumped at the chance. After the three families have read the books Tesco will then be donating the books to a local UK charity and i know they'll love these two books just as much as we did!!

The books that were supplied were

The Everywhere Bear 
The Highway Rat

Now were are MASSIVE Julia Donaldson fans so we were especially excited when we saw both books were by her :)

My little one picked The Everywhere Bear to read first. A sweet story about a classroom bear that gets his very own adventure! From drains to seas to fishing boats to libraries, this bear sees it all!
My little one loved the fact that one of the school children had the same name as her (Lily) and she enjoyed pointing out the bear on every page. The illustrator, Rebecca Cobb, has done a wonderful job on the pictures, my personal favourite being the teacher putting bear in the washer after his big adventure.

Next was The Highway Rat

In true Julia style this book seems to rhyme, or to me it does, so i sat as "sang" this book, much to my youngest s amusement! Naughty Rat wants what everyone else has and intends on taking it all for himself.......and as we teach our children not to take Lily shouted 'naughty rat!' every time he took something. But does rat get away with it? You'll have to buy the book to see :D 
Lily loved this book and i too am a HUGE Julia Donaldson fan, her books keep my little one entertained for ages and the pictures *WOW* Axel Scheffler is amazing! Lovely vivid colours and the detail is spot on.

Both books are available in the Tesco's Childrens section (here)

I will now be passing along to A Blonde & A Baby

*Sponsored post - We received a Tesco Giftcard in exchange. All thoughts and photos are our own.

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Anniversary gifts with Zadig & Voltaire

When it comes to our anniversary we sometimes struggle to decide what to get each other. This year is our 17th year together and we wanted to get something for one another that we would both appreciate and be able to use.

We both like to travel and we both like to smell good, so when we came across This is Him and This is Her range from Zadig & Voltaire we knew this was the ideal gift for us both.

Zadig & Voltaire: a Paris-born and quintessentially French fashion house, whose name is a reference to the nickname of founder Thierry Gillier, ferryman of the Voltairian mindset.

We both like our fragrances and both His (A woody oriental fragrance) and Hers (A woody, heady floral fragrance) smells amazing. Of course its really hard to tell you how it smells from a blog post, but we both commented on how nice it smelt on each other and we have had numerous friends and family ask us what we are wearing.

The fragrance lasts a long time and you do not find yourself having to have an additional spray here or a splash more of aftershave there, the smell is long lasting but not over powering, both are very unique and certainly some of the nicest perfume and aftershave we have smelt in a long time.

The aftershave and perfume are available in 30ml up to 100ml bottles, we went for the 100ml bottles. 

The bottles look really stylish and the contrast of the black and white really adds to the branding of His and Hers.

Its the first time that we have both found a fragrance in a range of his and hers that we both really like, safe to say we will defiantly keep on the look out Zadig and Voltaire future fragrances, especially if they smell as great as these if you want to treat your husband or wife , your girlfriend, boyfriend or lover, we would recommend This is Him and This is Her.

Now as you will have noticed from our other blog posts , we like to travel around and visit as many new places as we can. So when we also saw these bags available from Zadig & Voltaire we decided what the hell! and got one for each of us. Nicola went for the leather bottom draw string canvas bag and i went for the leather strapped canvas holdall.

Both are really top quality and Nicola chose her bag as she thought it was great for days out shopping with the kids or nice for those weekends away.

My bag is great for me as i travel for work quite a lot and is a really stylish bag that i can use for my business travels and keep my gear in.

So if your looking to spoil a loved one , you should check out the products available from Zadig & Voltaire, you won't be disappointed.

"Easy wear. Easy life. Easy luxury. This is Zadig!"

*PR samples. All thoughts and photos are our own.

Thursday, 23 March 2017

The Tiger Who Came to Tea - Liverpool Show and Book GIVEAWAY!

The Tiger Who Came to Tea is roaring back into Liverpool as part of a major UK tour in 2017 and to celebrate we are giving away a copy of The Tiger Who Came to Tea!

To be in for a chance to win this amazing book by Judith Kerr simple visit our Facebook post (here) and comment 'YES PLEASE' we will draw a winner tomorrow!

Below are details about the show and how to book tickets!

Adapted and directed by David Wood OBE, Judith Kerr’s ever popular tale, The Tiger Who Came to Tea, is the ideal introduction to theatre for children aged three plus and the perfect treat for the whole family.

When Sophie and her Mummy welcome the hungry Tiger to tea, he proceeds to eat all the sandwiches, buns, biscuits and more. He even manages to drink all the water in the tap! What will Sophie’s Daddy say when he gets home? 

Join the Tiger, Sophie and her Mummy and Daddy, in this musical slice of teatime mayhem with sing-a-long songs, oodles of magic and interactive fun.

David Wood is undisputedly the country’s leading writer and director of plays and musicals for children, whose many successes include: The Gingerbread Man, Guess How Much I Love You, eight Roald Dahl adaptations including West End hits The BFG, The Witches and George’s Marvellous Medicine; and the Olivier Award winning Goodnight Mister Tom. 

The doorbell rings just as Sophie and her Mummy are sitting down to tea. Who could it possibly be?

What they certainly don’t expect to see at the door is a big furry, stripy tiger!

A musical play adapted and directed by David Wood, based on the much-loved book by Judith Kerr, designed by Susie Caulcutt, movement director Emma Clayton and Music Arranger / Supervisor Peter Pontzen. Tour cast to be announced. The Tiger Who Came to Tea is produced by Nick Brooke Ltd. 

Watch the trailer at: 

The Tiger Who Came To Tea is playing at the Epstein Theatre, Hanover House, 85 Hanover St, Liverpool L1 3DZ from Thursday 30 – Saturday 1 April 2017

Performance Times: Thu 1.30pm, Fri 10.30am & 1.30pm, Sat 11am& 2pm.

To book your tickets please call the Box Office on 0844 888 4411or book them online:

Running time: 55 minutes - no interval. 
Suitable for ages 3+

*All thoughts and photos are our own.