Monday, 1 September 2014

A sweet tooth

I had the last few things to pick up today before my eldest starts school next week.  I decided to treat the girls for lunch at Pizza Hut and after they had an unlimited ice cream from the ice cream factory.  My youngest was in heaven.  

She could not believe she could fill a bowl with ice cream, put on her own sauce and use as many flavours as she wanted followed by topping the ice cream with sweets.  She has a huge sweet tooth and just loved this idea.

She did manage to eat all the sweets and all the sauce, the ice cream however melted.  She thought it was so much fun and wanted to have another bowl.  My eldest is much more controlled when it comes to sweets and although given the same options as her system put in a lot less.

I think my youngest gets her sweet tooth from me, I probably would have had a bowl of sweets and sauce and left the ice cream!

This day I love a sweet tooth.

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Casualplay q-retraktor fix Statistics and a first glance

I am really looking forward to sharing my experience with the Casualplay q-retraktor fix.  First I would like to provide some back ground information

Make Casual Play
Model Q-Retraktor fix
Group 1
Age/Weight 9M - 4Yr / 9-18Kg
Direction Forward facing only
Installation type Isofix and Top tether or Isofix and optional support leg
Harness/Shield 5 Point Harness
Location in car Needs Isofix points.  Comes with supplied list of suitable seat locations dependant on make and model of car.
Headrest adjustable Yes
Recline Yes
Instructions Paper copies stored in side of chair.  Multiple Languages
Assembly No Assembly required
Ease of First Installation Very easy to install first installation within 10 minutes.  I used the top Tether to fix.
Depth, Height Width 54cm, 65cm, 47cm
Weight 11.6 KG
Testing and Certification ECE R 44/04

Perfect for eating your lunch in

A detailed review and look of the CasualPlay q-retraktor will follow shortly

We have been sent a Casualplay q-retraktor seat to review.  All words ad opinions are my own.

A 4th birthday weekend

My eldest daughter recently turned 4.  She had requested a Princess party and asked for a Rapunzel and a Frozen birthday cake.  We had decided to do things a little different this year and give her a birthday weekend.

I spent Friday night making my Rapunzel cake, after baking a sponge cake I set about decorating it.

My first job was to decorate the sponge cake in purple icing, before making a plait.  I measured the circumference of the cake and rolled out three sausages from yellow icing to 1 and half the size of the circumference of the cake.

I began to plait in a similar way to how I do my daughters hair.  I used the plait to go around the base of the cake.

My next task was to create the sun on top.  I had printed out an image of the sun which I had created on the computer.  I then used baking paper to copy the image to make stencils.  I was able to press the stencils into some orange icing and cut round them with a knife to create the individual sections of the sun.  Then came the tricky part of reassembling the sun on the cake.

Using edible glue I then stuck edible stars round the side of the cake and some icing butterflies onto the plait.  I thought the purple looked a little plain, but I guess I could have left the stars off.

With the cake finished I headed off to bed but I didn't get much sleep as the birthday girl was up early and wanting to open her presents.

 The girls decided they both wanted to dress up like Snow White.  As my eldest always asks for a bouncy castle for her birthday I ordered her a Frozen themed one, which she absolutely loved. 

Before long it was time for lunch and to sit down and open her presents from her family.  She had been very specific with what she would like for her birthday.  Elsa dress, Anna dress and a Rapunzel dress

She could not believe it when she got all three.  She quickly put on Elsa and let her sister put on Anna.  My eldest was incredibly happy.

Before going back on the bouncy castle, we decided it would be a good idea to let our lunch settle and so we played Princess PlayMobil.

My eldest had a lovely day playing with friends and family.  It was lovely watching her and her sister dress up and play nicely together.  They were both tired from the bouncy castle which meant I then had the opportunity to get the next cake ready for her party.  A frozen cake.

I decided to keep it simple and decorated my sponge cake with a pale blue icing.  Using a snow flake cutter I cut out snowflakes from white icing and stuck them around the side, placing edible silver balls in the centre of each.  

Using edible glitter stars and edible glue I hand drew and stuck on the glitter stars to make the number 4.  I made 4 small snowflakes for the candles to sit in and  two larger snowflakes for decoration.  For Olaf I printed out the outline of Olaf and used this as a stencil to make the body, head and legs which I then placed on the cake.  I made a carrot nose from orange icing, simply by rolling a ball and then using my finger nails to make one end pointy.  His other features are all drawn on by hand using an icing pen.

After baking 4 cakes [each cake had 2 in] and decorating them I was tired and ready for bed.  As I headed upstairs I noticed that one of the girls had placed Princess Anna shoes by the front door.

The next morning the weather was miserable.  Heavy rain meant I had to find winter coats.  Luckily we had booked an indoor soft play for her birthday party.  The girls decided they wanted to dress up as Anna and Elsa from Frozen.  

It was lovely watching the girls play with their friends at the soft play.  Also in some ways quite sad because her friends were from Pre school and from September they will be at different schools.  The girls had lots of fun playing.  I was glad it was indoors as the rain did not stop.

The party seemed to go too fast and it was soon time to go home.  My eldest opened her presents from her friends when we got home and for the rest of the day spent playing with them with her sister.  She received some wonderful presents.  

Happy 4th Birthday to my beautiful Princess.

This day I love a 4th Birthday weekend.

Review : Tomy Princess Potty

I have written a few posts on potty training, top tips, night time and my essentials list and with both my girls now potty trained we have tried a number of different potties.  I have never seen one quite like the Tomy Princess potty before.  For my girls who are Disney Princess obsessed this was the gold standard of potties.

Opening the potty

The Tomy Princess Potty does not look like any ordinary potty.  In fact that is the whole idea, as when closed it can be used as a step.  My youngest daughter likes to carry her Princess step to help her reach the fruit bowl or the biscuit tin, yes it is usually food related, or even to reach the sink to wash her hands.

Using Disney Princess potty as stepWashing hands

The Tomy Princess Potty is a 3 in 1 system.  The first, the step, I have mentioned above and the other two are a potty and a toilet seat.  You can transform the potty into a toilet seat which is a really clever idea.  This means children are familiar with the seat and can make the transition form potty to toilet easier.  You do need to be aware of this fact though when you come to clean the potty, else the rubber seat will fall out.  It is designed to do this for cleaning, but it can take you by surprise if you forget.

Princess on Potty

As it is a complete training system it is also great to take in the car, especially if holiday in the UK.  You have everything you need, step, potty and toilet seat all in one.  This meant we did not need to take these three items individually for the girls, they could simply share the one. 

What my youngest really loves is that there is a button at the side of the potty which makes a magical noise when pressed.  This is a lovely way of rewarding a child for sitting on the potty when they are potty training.  The Tomy Disney Princess 3 in 1 potty is perfect for any little Princess.

We were sent a Tomy Princess potty to review, all words and opinions are my own

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Savings from TalkTalk

There are many reasons why I like TalkTalk, one of which is the flexibility of the service and the ability to control my spending.  With TalkTalk I can add boosts, which run on a rolling 30 day contract, these boosts give me additional programs, For example over the school holidays I could add the Kids boost and at the end of the holidays when I want less Kids TV channels remove the boost.  Likewise I could add in a boost so I could watch one of my favourite TV shows but just for the duration of the programs season. 

This flexibility suits me because it puts me in control of my spending.  I am not tied into lengthy contracts and I am able to choose the service I need.  I am able to save money using online billing, around £22 per year and a 15% speedy payment discount on bills paid within a day of notification.  All of this soon adds up.

Managing bills TalkTalk

TalkTalk also provide a lot of extras including
  • Get 10% off calls to friends and family 
  • Only provider with totally unlimited broadband on all packages, with no caps meaning TalkTalk never slows customers down 
  • Unique free service to report and block nuisance calls
  • 100s of new release movies on TalkTalk Box Office
  • Phone and privacy features like voicemail, caller display and anonymous caller reject – at no extra charge
  • 100's of hours of Sky entertainment shows on demand 
  • Free HomeSafe, our groundbreaking online protection 

As the contract is about to expire on my mobile phone I am looking to see if TalkTalk can save me money here too.  I have been surprised to see that TalkTalk have the latest flagship handsets including the LG G3, Nokia 930 and the one I am seriously considering the Samsung S5.  As a TalkTalk customer I can have double the data if I buy online and there are some great offers on handsets too, as well as nearly new models.  At the moment Samsung Galaxy Frame is from £3.75 a month and Nokia 360 from £5 a month.  TalkTalk mobile is exclusive to TalkTalk customers which means I can take advantage of some great offers.

This post is written as part of the collaboration with TalkTalk 

Friday, 29 August 2014

It's my last day

My eldest daughter woke up rather excited this morning.  

'It's my last day'

She shouted over and over again.

She was very excited that today was her last day at Pre school, I on the other hand am rather sad.  It is a sign she is growing up and no longer my baby or toddler but is now a little girl about to start school.  Since her visit at school she has been eager to start and disappointed every morning when I take her to pre school, and asking not to go.  Her reason is is that now she is 4 she has to go to school not pre school.  Although she has loved her time at pre school she is ready for school, I am not sure I am ready though.

Eldest smiling

My eldest, I love you so much.  Everyday you make me proud and I look forward to watching you grow as you start the next part of your journey.

This day I love It's my last day.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Win a Month supply of a2 milk

Milk is an important part of our diet.  It has a balance of protein, carbohydrates, water and micro nutrients.  It is essential for growing kids and for grown ups, particularly women who are more vulnerable to bone-weakening osteoporosis.  Milk is also a great way to help kids maintain energy and focus whilst at school. 

For some people though drinking milk leads to digestive problems such as bloating, indigestion or feeling uncomfortable.  a2 milk contains the same calcium and lactose levels as standard milk but it doesn't contain the A1 protein.  

Milk contains two different proteins A1 and A2.  Before domestication all cows produced milk containing only the A2 protein, domestication introduced the A1 protein.  These two proteins are digested differently from each other and the A1 protein can result in the discomfort after drinking milk which can be mistake for Lactose intolerance.

The only difference between a2 milk and milk, is that a2 milk does not contain the A1 protein.  a2 milk have a 2 week challenge on their milk.  Try a2 milk for two weeks and tell them if you felt the difference, share your story on their facebook page.  All stories shared on Facebook could win a month's supply of a2 milk plus a ticket to the BIG festival.

a2 milk is suitable for those who have never had any issues with milk and those who have not been medically diagnosed with galactosaemia or who have not got a milk protein intolerance or people who have not been diagnosed with a lactose intolerance.  Those people who might be substituting for soya or rice milk because they just cannot stomach diary products, although never formally diagnosed.

We have been giving a2 milk a try for the past 2 weeks.  I calculated that we use over 20 pints of milk a week.  The girls in particular love their milk.  Some eczema can be triggered by milk and with my daughter suffering from eczema I was interested to see if cutting out milk containing the A1 protein would make a difference to her.  After 2 weeks we haven't yet had a flair up so things appear to be heading in the right direction.  

I am pleased to be teaming with a2 milk and be able to offer 1 reader the chance to win a month's supply of a2 milk [this is in the form of vouchers].  Entry is simple and via the Rafflecopter below.  Giveaway closes on 11th September 2014 at midnight GMT.  Entry is open to all UK residents aged 18 and over.  For full T&C please see link on Rafflecopter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway