Recent Posts

The Perfect Bedtime Story with Moonlite | Review

21.11.18


If you've followed my blog for a while, then you'll know just how much we love books and reading in our household. The Littles have a large collection of stories, and I'm always on the lookout for more! What we don't have though, is a huge amount of space to keep their books. So when I was contacted by Mumsnet, and asked if I wanted to review Moonlite - which combines traditional storybooks with modern technology - I of course said yes!

Moonlite is a special storybook projector, that easily attaches to almost any smart phone or tablet, and then uses the torch to project story images onto the ceiling or wall (or any surface really!). It was created by mother and former Google employee Natalie Rebot, who was inspired by her daughters love of shadow puppets before bed. She launched her initial concept on Kickstarter, and it has now gone on to be a huge success!


We received the Moonlite Fairytale Gift Pack, which contains the projector and 5 fairytale story reels (as well as simple instructions for use). My two absolutely love traditional fairytales, so this pack was perfect for us. Parker (3) quickly chose the Jack and the Beanstalk story, so while the Littles were brushing their teeth I got the story ready. Using Moonlite really was so simple, and it took me just a few minutes to set up!

There are 4 simple steps to follow -

1. Download the Moonlite App (for free!) from the App Store or Google Play Store.


2. Pick your story and add the reel into the Moonlite projector.

3. Open up the App and go through the set up (you'll find the activation code in the box with the reels), until you reach the alignment screen.


4. Attach the Moonlite projector to your phone - this is where you use the alignment screen on the app to guide you, but it's really as simple as lining up the cross on the projector to the cross on the screen! The app will also show you how to adjust the clarity of the projected images too.



With the projector set up I simply chose the correct story on the app, and we were ready to go. The second I clicked the story, the app really came to life! As well as the image appearing on the wall, the app shows the story so you can read along - clearly showing where you are meant to turn the projector wheel to view the next image. The experience is extra magical as the app plays background music, and some words in the story can be tapped to play sound effects too! My two especially loved this feature, as they really felt like they were getting involved in the story.


When Moonlite first arrived, myself and Jack both admitted we weren't sure what to expect. But since using it, we both agree just how lovely and special it makes reading with the littles. The images and sounds make the experience so immersive and magical, and Indie and Parker both love getting involved by turning the projector or pressing the words. I do think it could become an expensive way of enjoying books (story reels are £7.99 each), but they would be perfect gifts to receive, to build up your collection!

Moonlite is aimed at children aged 1-7, but I think it would be enjoyed by both younger and older audiences - especially together as a family. It was not created as a replacement for traditional storybooks, but as a truly unique way of storytelling, to inspires your child’s imagination! It is available to buy at many retailers including Argos. The Gift Pack (which includes 5 stories and the projector) retails at £39.99, and a Starter Pack (which includes 2 stories and the projector) retails at £19.99.


This post is in collaboration with Moonlite and Mumsnet. However all opinions are honest and my own.

Christmas Gift Guide for 5 Year Olds | Christmas 2018

20.11.18

 

Looking for Christmas gifts this year for Indiana has been a whole lot easier than previous years. I feel like a whole new selection of gifts open up once they turn 5 / start school. I have put together a collection of gift ideas for 5 year olds this year, that I hope will give you some inspiration this festive season!


Indiana absolutely loves playing games and doing fun activities when at home, and a favourite in our household is Orchard Toys games. We have a whole collection (and love to gift them for birthday parties too!), so I know she's going to be really excited to receive Giraffes in Scarves this year.

Designed for children ages 4 to 7, Giraffes in Scarves offers the perfect balance between learning and fun! The aim of the game is to collect as many scarves as possible for your giraffe, all while using colouring matching and counting skills. I know I can't wait to play!


Fingerlings

Indie got her very first Fingerling for her birthday last year, so I know she's going to be absolutely thrilled to add some more to her collection. The Fingerlings range has exploded and now you can get dragons, unicorns, pandas and even twin packs featuring 'mini BFFs'!

Fingerling monkeys have two special sensors on top of their heads. By tapping either once or twice on either side, you can trigger a variety of different reactions, including noises, movements and Indie's favourite is when they blow you kisses.


Totes Isotoner Slippers

There's nothing better than getting cosy and warm over the chillier months, so I know Indiana is going to absolutely love these slippers from Totes Isotoner. Plus they're a unicorn design - so that's a double win! They are lovely and soft and have a non-slip grip on the bottom too. And I love that they're machine washable too, as this is a must for children's clothing!


Itty Bittys

We are a Disney obsessed household, and ever since we went to Disneyland back in March, the littles have wanted more cuddly versions of their favourite characters. These super sweet Itty Bittys from Hallmark are the perfect way to bring our favourite characters into the house, and will be a perfect stocking filler for Indiana! They're super-cute and small enough to take out and about - and best of all there are SO many different collections if you aren't a Disney fan (including Star Wars, Marvel and beloved TV characters). I already want them all!


Personally Presented - Personalised Unicorn Apron

I love giving special gifts to the littles. Ones that aren't just your average item that everyone will have. Personally Presented have over 1000 personalised gifts for all special occasions and personalities. We received this lovely personalised unicorn apron, which I know Indiana is going to love. She loves baking, and I know she's going to feel extra special doing it with this apron on. It also features unicorns and rainbows, so that's another bonus!


So Glow Mini Jar Kit from Canal Toys

We recently had Indie's first parents evening, where her teachers described her as very creative and always busy - and we couldn't agree more! So this Magic Jar Mini Kit from So Glow DIY is going to be  the perfect gift for her. She can create her very own colour-change mood light (with a little help from me) at home. You can decorate the jar, mix the glitter and confetti with the special So Glow powder, and even add the special surprise collectable figure. A great gift if you 5 year old is creative and into crafting like mine.



As mentioned above, Indie is really into creative activities. This My Mermaid Lagoon set is going to be another great gift for her (especially as she's been asking for it all year!). You can create you own magical mermaid world by moulding, sculpting and playing with the glittery magic sand. Corals, shells, and other accessories are also included to create a beautiful and fun scene. Indie is going to love that she can take her mermaid around with her too, as the little clamshell she comes with fits into your pocket!


My Fairy Garden - Fairy Light Garden

Another gift Indiana has been asking for since last Christmas in a My Fairy Garden set, so I know she's going to be thrilled with this Fairy Light Garden. The set comes with everything you need to create a magical fairy garden, including a mushroom house (that lights up and plays music!), grass seeds to grow a lawn, characters and lots of accessories. Of course indie will need some grown up help with this too, but it's such a lovely gift for a little girl (or boy!) who loves magic and fairies.


Scootaseatz

Just like Parker, Indiana absolutely loves to go out on her scooter too. This pink Scootaseatz is such a fun addition to her scooter, and means she can take her baby doll or cuddly toy out for a ride with her! The seat is really easy to attach and can be used with all scooter brands and some bikes and trikes.


This guide contains items I have been gifted in exchange for being featured. However all opinions are honest and my own.

Preserving The Beauty Of Childhood

19.11.18


Childhood is one of the most beautiful and important things there are. If you lived a great one it will most likely affect your personality for the rest of your life (and you’ll often long to return to that innocent, childhood state). If you weren't so fortunate however, it could influence your entire life perhaps more chaotically.

We can overcome our childhoods, but we’re all absolutely a product of it. This means that as a parent, being the guardian of childhood isn’t a fantastic title given by someone with too much imagination. It’s a complete necessity for a parent to do everything they can, to allow a child to live free from the shackles of adulthood!

Of course, this doesn't mean they should be spoiled, allowed free reign over every single decision, and never disciplined. Childhood is hard to deal with, and even an excellent parent will find it challenging. It’s also always amazing to see just how much of your child’s personality is seemingly packaged with them the moment they begin to toddle about. Thankfully, preserving the beauty of childhood despite these challenges is possible, if you take into account the following advice...

Settling Issues

It can be very wise to settle issues in your family unit, before they start to influence the children in the family. For example, relationship issues might need to go through the impartial lens of family solicitors, or you might need to follow arrangements best made by your family counselor. Children are very smart and can tell when issues are taking place. It’s very hard to lie to them about this, and of course, lying to your children isn’t something you would ever want to do either. For that reason, taking issues by the horn and resolving them can make for a much better childhood.

Play

Children need to play, that's a fact! And actually, it’s one of the most important things a child can ever learn. Play simulates life in the microcosm, from sharing with their siblings to learning the rules of fair play. A child tests their personality and learns completely new things throughout the course of their years of play, and will begin to absorb the unwritten rules of the social landscape with their peers. Children need to play. So let them - preferably in social activities or using their imagination, then constantly allowing them to play video gaming consoles.

Growing Up too Quickly

We’re often quite disgusted to see dolled-up children that attend beauty pageants, with their pushy mothers and fathers. But we might not look at ourselves and see, in less obviously irritating ways, how we might be pushing our children to grow up too fast. If your 10 or 11 year old is allowed to watch films unsuitable for them, or is experiencing unsuitable things from hanging out with their older sibling, then it might be worth keeping an eye on them. If your 13/14 year old daughter wants to play with dolls still, let her! Help your children hold onto their childhood as they should, because they’ll have plenty of time to live as someone with responsibilities and adult cares in the future.

With these few simple tips, preserving the beauty of childhood is sure to take place!

This is a collaborative post.

The Siblings Project | November 2018

17.11.18

I haven't taken many fancy pictures of our three this month, but I thought these quick snaps were too lovely not to share. Lilah is SO eager to get out and about on our outings now, and we cannot wait until the three of them are off adventuring together. And of course I wanted to share our Halloween pictures too, because they're just too cute not to share!

I actually cannot believe we have an almost 5 year old, a 3 year old and a 10 month old now. This year seems to have gone by in an absolute flash, and all three of them have grown and changed so much since my Siblings Project posts at the start of the year. And now we only have one more of these posts left!



Apart from half term, this month has been a relatively quiet one. We had a lovely Halloween with allll of the sweets, and the littles in the cutest outfits. Indie wanted to be a witch, Parker was a skeleton dinosaur (yes, it was as cool as it sounds), and Lilah was a baby witch to match Indie. Jack took the big two out trick or treating after work, which they are still talking about now!

We have had some lovely days out throughout the month too, including a soggy trip to Scotney Castle and fireworks with our friends Harriet and Josh. But as we have so many exciting events coming up over the next few weeks, we decided to enjoy our free weekends as much as possible. Because once Indiana's birthday rolls around, it will be Christmas before we know it!


Christmas Gift Guide for Preschoolers | Christmas 2018

16.11.18


I wrote a gift guide for this preschoolers (age 3-4) last year, when Indiana was this age. But I found that list was more obviously more focussed on 'girly' presents. So this year I've created another Christmas gift guide for preschoolers, but with boys in mind a little more (although of course these are all unisex gifts really!). I hope this gives you some inspiration for your 3/4 year old this festive season!

Magformers Magnetic Toys

Parker absolutely loves building and creating, so these sets from Magformers are absolutely perfect for him. Magformers construction sets contain various pieces in simple shapes (triangles, squares, etc), that easily contact by using built-in magnets. The pieces are durable and high quality so will last a long time, and comes in a whole range of designs. The World Adventure set we were set even features motors so the creations can move! I love that these will really get Parker's brain working as he creates shapes and designs. And he can even let his little sister Lilah get involved, as they do 'My First' sets too.



The Untamed by Fingerlings

Ever since Indiana got a Fingerling for her birthday last year, Parker has wanted his very own. The Fingerlings range has expanded though, and The Untamed collection is definitely perfect for Parker. Although these are more aimed at slightly older children, I know Parker will absolutely love this - he's dinosaur and Fingerlings obsessed! And what 3 year old boy doesn't love a toy that farts?

Each Untamed Fingerlings character has 2 modes - tamed and untamed - and depending on the mode, the same actions get very different reactions. In tamed mode they Untamed is your friend, however if you switch to the untamed mode they will become ferocious!


Pretend To Bee Dressing Up Sets

We have a huuuuge collection of dressing up, and it's something both littles have loved to do a this age. Pretend To Bee have a fantastic range of dressing up outfits and accessories, including characters, role play fancy dress, and outfits for babies. This Fox Accessories set is so lovely and well made, and I know Parker is going to love pretending to be a scary fox!


Milly & Flynn Gruffalo Snakes and Ladders

Now Parker is a little older, we've started introducing simple games and activities to him. This beautiful Gruffalo Snakes and Ladders game, from Milly & Flynn, is not only a fun game but really lovely to look at too. Little ones can choose from four of the characters from the story by Julia Donaldson, and race their way to the finish line hoping to avoid the snakes.


Where Next, Teddy? - Chapterful Personalised Children's Book

Books are a gift that will never be outgrown, and can be enjoyed from years to come. Where next, Teddy? is a lovely personalised story from Chapterful. Before ordering you can edit the character so that they look like your child, and then they appear throughout the entire story. The illustrations are beautifully done, and I really think the character looks like Parker! 


Totes Isotoner Slipper Socks

I always like to add practical gifts to the littles stockings, so these cute and cosy slipper socks from Totes Isotoner are a perfect addition this year. Made with their signature slip-resistant tread, they are great for popping on in the morning or with pjs. Parker isn't so keen on slippers, so these are a great alternative too.


Crate Creatures Surprise Bashers

Like a lot of preschoolers Parker loves watching surprise gift openings on Youtube. There are so many great options available now, and I know he is going to absolutely love this Crate Creatures Surprise Basher in his stocking! Apart from the excitement of seeing who you've got, the creature makes gross sounds, and you can launch them and bash them by pulling their tongue. A perfect toy for a preschooler for sure!


Scootaheadz - Timmy T-Rex

At 3 Parker is now an absolute pro on his scooter (a gift I would definitely recommend for a preschooler for Christmas, if they don't already have one). As he spends so much time on it, I thought accessorising it would be a fun idea. Scootaheadz’s offer a range of funky animal buddies (including a t-rex, shark, horse and unicorn), that have been designed to attach to a scooter’s T-bar. Parker absolutely loves his dinosaur friend, and loves scooting along roaring with pride now!


This guide contains items I have been gifted in exchange for being featured. However all opinions are honest and my own.

Ergobaby Omni 360 All-in-One Baby Carrier | Review

13.11.18


Ever since Lilah was a newborn, both Jack and I have loved baby wearing with her. We had the Ergobaby Aura wrap when she was small; which I absolutely loved and was gutted to stop using. But as Lilah grew and got heavier (and more curious of her surroundings), we knew we needed a more adaptable carrier. Which is where the Ergobaby Omni 360 All-in-One carrier comes in!

Ergobaby's newest design, the Ergobaby Omni 360 All-in-One has been designed to be used in all positions - growing with you from day 1, until your little ones reach 20kg. From newborn you can use the parent facing front carry, without the need of any extra supports or inserts. From 5 months you can turn baby around in the front carry position, and then from 6 months you can even use the hip or back carry positions.


The Omni 360 is incredibly easy to use and wear. Now Lilah is bigger we usually have her in the world-facing front carry position, so she can see what's going on while we're out and about. The buckles and straps can be a little fiddly to work out at first, but once Jack had used the carrier a few times he could do it quickly.

The shoulder straps can either be worn like a backpack or crossed at the back (although we've never tried them this way), and there's really helpful instructional videos on their website. It's really easy to switch her over so she's snuggled into Jack too, as you don't have to do any big changes to the carrier. And as you can see, this is a perfect position for her to snooze in!

And the best thing about the carrier? The Omni 360 has been acknowledged as a 'hip healthy' product by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute! In all positions (including forward facing) your baby will be in the ergonomic M position - something a lot of other carriers don't feature. This is something I am really passionate about when it comes to baby wearing. Our little ones have had higher risk of having hip dysplasia, so we definitely want them to be comfortable. In order to be in the correct position, the buttons need to be in the grey (not black) position on both sides of the carrier.



We absolutely love the Omni 360 baby carrier, and I know that we will be using it long into the future with Lilah. It is easy to use, comfortable for both Jack to wear and Lilah to be in, and just how lovely is the Triple Triangles design? It really has become an essential for us as parents of three little ones!

We received a carrier in exchange for this review. All opinions are honest and my own.

Afternoon Tea with Boot's Mini Club Party Wear

10.11.18


With Christmas just around the corner, there's no better time to start thinking about dressing up and party wear. Although if I'm honest, I don't think my little ones would ever turn down the opportunity to get dressed up! We were recently sent some gorgeous items from the Boot's Mini Club 'All Dressed Up' party wear range, and the Littles couldn't wait to wear them.

Last weekend we had a special afternoon tea planned for my father in laws birthday, so it was a perfect excuse to get all dressed up. The range is described as 'a little luxuries for little one's, and I couldn't agree with this more. All of the items we received are beautifully made and great quality, and they made all three of them look SO grown up! 


Indiana was sent the Floral Party Dress, which is a beautiful navy blue covered in a bright floral print, and a bold pink bow around the waist. It's got a lovely underskirt (in the same pink as the waistband) which means it's perfect for twirling and dancing in. Indiana absolutely loves the dress, and age 5 fits her perfectly. 

We were then sent a matching Floral Dress for Lilah, which is oh so sweet! As Lilah is only 10 months, we've never really dressed her up in a party dress before, but she looked absolutely gorgeous in this one. And although it isn't identical to Indiana's, I think I like that they're a little bit different - but with matching details such as the bright sash. I will say it's not the most practical outfit for a baby on the move though (she struggled crawling through the puffy layers), but it does look lovely!




I think Parker's outfit is probably my favourite that we were sent - we received the most gorgeous Shirt and Bow Tie and Trousers. Parker is getting really independent about picking his own outfits at the moment, but even he was excited to try his outfit on. I must day the sizing in a little on the larger size (we had to roll the trousers and shirt sleeves 3/4 times), but then Parker is quite little for his age. The bow-tie is velcro though, so it's easy to get on and off and isn't too tight around Parker's neck.



Everyone at afternoon tea thought the Littles looked absolutely fantastic, and I think they loved all the extra attention they had too. We have always loved Boot's Mini Club clothing, and these items have just emphasised this even more. They are great quality and really reasonably priced too. They currently have 20% off of their clothing, so make sure you pop over to the website and have a look!

We received these items in exchange for our review. All opinions are honest and my own.

Starting School | Indiana’s First Term in Reception

5.11.18

With October half term over, and the countdown to Christmas well and truly on, I thought I'd take the time to write about Indiana's first term at school. Although I'm still in a bit of denial that she's a school girl (she's still a baby in my eyes!), Indie has settled into the routine of school really well.


At Indie's school they staggered the reception children's starts. Half of her class did morning sessions and the other half did afternoons. Indie had just over two weeks of afternoons, before she actually went in full at the end of September. And although these were great for easing her in gently, they felt far too long in my opinion. Indie is one of the older children though (she's 5 in a few weeks), so maybe that's why she seemed ready a lot earlier!?

Despite being ready, those first few weeks of full days were still rather exhausting - for all of us! The school day starts at 8.30am (8.45am if we're running a bit late!), and I collect her at 3.10pm, so it's a much longer day than preschool ever was. I don't think she ever stops when she's there either; with so much to see and do, she doesn't want to miss out! It has meant plenty of overtired outbursts in the evening, and keeping weekends as simple as possible. But we're hoping as the weeks go on, she gets used to the busy weeks a bit more.

I can tell she has already picked up and learnt so much over this first half term though. From her very first day, she has been coming home and telling me about the phonics she has learnt - pointing out the letters, singing the little phonics songs and always, always writing and drawing. I think I could decorate our whole house with the amount of artwork she comes home with - it's impressive she gets anything else done during the day!


We are so pleased that Indiana has settled into school life so well, and so quickly. Despite not knowing anyone on her first day, she's made lots of new friends already, and there's no issues with her eating her school lunches either! We have our first parent's evening this week, so I cannot wait to hear about how she's getting on even more.

I really hope she keeps her love of school for a long time - we are just so, so proud!

The Tree, The Key & Me by Librio | Personalised Book Review

3.11.18


This is a sponsored post

Ever since I was a little girl, reading has been one of my absolute favourite things to do. I could get lost for hours in a good book, and I've read some of my favourites so many times the books are falling apart! I always hoped my children would get my love for reading too, and it looks like I've got my wish with Indiana. She loves going to the library, and buying new books for our collection at home. So when Librio got in touch and asked if we wanted to review their new book, The Tree, The Key & Me, how could I say no?

The Tree, The Key & Me, is much more than just a book. It tells a personalised story of your little girl or boy, who after finding a lost key goes on an exciting adventure to save the day. The book is full of beautiful hand-drawn illustrations that bring both the story and your child to life. And the best part, is that they are published on premium 100% recycled FSC Certified paper, by a super sustainable print company based in Uckfield!

Creating your character is incredibly easy, and as you can configure 6 different features including the name, gender, skin tone, hair colour, hair style and eye colour, your character should hopefully look as close to your child as possible. You can also add a dedication at the front of the book which makes it a perfect gift for a birthday or Christmas!





The story itself is such a lovely one, and it really captivated both Indiana and myself. Although the version we chose featured a girl, the story is suitable for both boys and girls. This is something I really like, as I love finding stories that captivate both of my children.

As well as her character appearing throughout the pages, so does Indiana's name, which makes it that little bit more special too. Indie is almost five so is just starting to learn words and sounds, so I of course had to read the story to her. This didn't stop her trying to re-tell the story to me though! The illustrations are truly perfect and really bring the story to life, so they helped her to find out what was happening throughout the story.

As well as Librio using 100% recycled paper for their books, they also give back to charity too. For every book sold they donate £1 to literacy charities, which makes the books just that little bit more special.




We absolutely loved reading The Tree, The Key & Me, and I know we will be reading it for years to come. It really is a lovely story, and Librio have such a fab ethic behind them too. You can find out more about Librio by following their sites here: Facebook​, Instagram​, Twitter, ​YouTube​ and the ​Librio Blog​.

You can also receive a 15% discount when ordering two or more books, by using the code YAY15.
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