Thursday, 27 November 2014

I'm A Nick Jr Craft Party Host #NickJrCraftmas

On Monday 1st December I will be hosting a very special Nick Jr 'Craftmas Party'.  From 1pm-3pm you can join us over on Twitter for lots of fun, games and fantastic prizes! We will be doing lots of crafts and games from our HQ (AKA Home) and sharing our creations with you. You can join in with crafts of your own if you'd like or you can just follow whilst we are tweeting and take part in the competitions. Make sure you are following us all on Twitter before the party @CarlyMarkham1 @UKMumstv @NickJRUK and make sure all your tweets contain the hashtag #NickJrCraftmas for your chance to win some great prizes.

So what's inside my Nick Jr Craftmas party box?

  • 8 craft activity packs
  • 2 crafty game activity packs
  • 2 edible craft activity packs
  • craft essentials such as glue, scissors, pens
  • goody bags for our guests
  • best of all a few special prizes to give out throughout the party
So don't forget to join us, I will post reminders leading up to the party! Also look out for the other mums who will also be hosting parties and giving away prizes.

Hope to see you all Monday!

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Family Time Christmas Light Switch On

This evening we had a rare bit of quality family time at Coventry's annual Christmas light switch on. Year after year everyone flocks to the city centre to watch a forgotten reality tv star headline the big switch on. It sounds awful but is usually great fun.

I haven't been in years but with lots of entertainment offered beforehand in the local shopping centre we decided the kids would love a special evening out. I have to say the shopping centre was a nightmare to say the least. We waited over half an hour to find a seat to get some food and about the same time to get served a mcdonalds. Thankfully by the time we had eaten the queues to the activities were much shorter. We also got to see the mini switch on as we got a really good table so the kids were happy. The kids had balloon swords made by a man making balloon models. They got to meet Olaf which they were very excited about! Zach was too scared to go up close to him but Gracie enjoyed lots of cuddles. There were Disney Princesses available to meet unfortunately they all stood together and the queue to have a photo with them looked hours long. They didn't look the happiest of princesses though so glad we didn't wait around. 

Instead we walked to the centre of town for the big switch on. A local band performed on the stage and Santa made an entrance by climbing down the side of a building. Then was the big switch on, Andy held Zach while I held Gracie so they could see what was going on. They joined in with the big countdown and the expressions on their faces when the lights went on were priceless! It was an amazing moment that bought a huge smile to my face, I love to see them so happy and it's made me so excited for the Christmas build up this year. We left swiftly after to avoid the exclusive performance of Union J, yeah who? 

We were hoping to have caught Santa in his grotto before the night was over but he was very busy so that's our plan for our next family day! 

Do you have any fun family activities planned over Christmas?

The Perfect Stocking Fillers

In our house it is tradition that we all receive a stocking filled with small token gifts. With this in mind I though I would share some ideas for stocking fillers for the family.

For adults:

Pears Soap are a range of different soaps made from high quality ingredients. The brand is now 225 years old which says something about it's popularity. Pictured above are Pears shower gel (£2), hand wash (£2) and soap bars (£0.60) all of which would make great additions to a Christmas stocking. All Pears products are available at Tesco, Sainsbury's, Asda and Waitrose.


Vaseline is another popular skincare brand and I swear by their Lip Therapy pots! This cute Vaseline Rosy Lip Pouch gift set would make the perfect gift for any woman or teenage girl! The set costs £4 and is available at Tesco, Ocado, Amazon and a few other retailers.

For Kids

Top Trumps

I remember playing Top Trumps as a child with my younger brother. We would have hours of fun. These Frozen Top Trumps would be ideal for any little Prince or Princess. As Frozen has taken over this year this would make a  great magical treat for your child's stocking and will help keep them entertained while your cooking the Christmas dinner! I've seen these ranging in price from £3.99 and are available from Tesco and Amazon amongst other retailers.

For Everyone

Lego Minifigures

The Lego Movie has been another popular film in our house this year and it has given both kids a huge interest in Lego. I thought these Lego mini figures would be a big hit this Christmas and with them being blind bags it makes them all the more fun to see what ones they get. They make the perfect stocking filler for Lego fans of all ages.

Smiggle Stationery

I went to an event at the brand new Smiggle store in The Bullring Birmingham last week (will be writing all about it soon) but whilst there I bought a few great stocking fillers as well as receiving some more fab bits in a goody bag here are just some of the items I'm putting away for Christmas. Smiggle specialise in cool and quirky stationery and gifts for people of all ages.


No stocking would be complete without chocolate! I thought I would share a few of the different chocolate choices I've gone for this year. We have Hotel Chocolate Tiddly Pots in caramel chocolate and white chocolate which are £1.95 each. Totally worth the price for luxury chocolate. Tesco Chocolate coins on the left (£0.50 per bag) for Gracie and dairy free alternative coins on the right for Zach which are £1.50 a bag but on a 3 for 2 offer at the moment. We got the dairy free chocolate Santa next to the coins for free in the 3 for 2 offer but it is usually £1. I always buy Lindt chocolates for Andy's stocking being his favourite chocolates and these were only £1.50 for the bag!

As well as this I will add the traditional satsumas to the stockings.

I hope this helps! I'd love to know what you will be putting in your stockings?

I received a few of these products to add to my list but all opinions are my own. Plus some are just personal recommendations.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

The New All Terrain Stokke Trailz

You may remember me mentioning the Stokke Trailz in my post about The Baby Show. The Trailz is the latest addition to the Stokke family and the first All Terrain pushchair in their collection. The Stokke Trailz is suitable from birth with the compatable carrycot or with a newborn wedge inserted in the seat unit. 

The seat unit is the same as the popular Xplory V3, V4 and Crusi pushchairs (definitely one of my favourite features). It is only the chassis that is different and as you can buy the chassis for Stokke pushchairs separately, you can actually own an Xplory and Trailz chassis for example and just switch the seat unit between the two depending on which pushchair you would like to use. Not that this is necessary as the Trailz is suitable for any surface or weather! 

Like all other Stokke pushchairs the Trailz is available with a free three year guarantee incase of any possible faults. Any manufacturer that offers an extended guarantee obviously believes in the reliability of their products. 

I finally got to see the Trailz at The Baby Show Olympia and was very impressed with its size. You can see from this video what other people thought of it. 

I received no payment for publishing this post.

Monday, 24 November 2014

Review: Toddle Bike

The number one pre balance bike for toddlers, Toddlebike is aimed at children aged 1-3 years who can confidently walk. Zach is lucky enough to be part of the 2014 Toddlebike team and has been putting it to the test.  

When we first received the Toddlebike the house practically erupted with excitement. (Well two excited kids make a lot of noise). We had the obvious argument of who was going to ride it first but being Zach's he got the first turn. He didn't quite understand to sit on the seat though and jumped straight onto the bar between the seat and handle and zoomed around the room. Gracie took advantage and jumped on the seat. They thought it was hilarious riding around together as quick as possible! For the next few days Zach was constantly playing on his Toddlebike, he even learnt to sit on the seat pretty quick. As he had got the hang of it we decided it was time to take it for a road test outside and so took the kids on a little Bike ride.

I was amazed at how well he could control the bike. He rides so fast without tipping over at all and has mastered turning around a full 360 without even stopping. I got a great video of him racing down the street miles ahead of Gracie on her big girl bike. I found that it is great for getting him around quickly outside. It's very lightweight so you don't have to worry about them getting bored and wanting to walk home (not that that happened at all!) as it can easily be carried or hung from a pushchair. I figured it would be great for taking on trips to the park or on a UK holiday as it doesn't take up much room anywhere.

The novelty still hasn't worn off after a few weeks of use. Zach rides it around the house daily (and Gracie when she can pinch a go) in fact her loves it so much he will not let me take the label off! Gracie has tassels on her bike so this is obviously his equivalent! I'd love to see some little accessories available eventually to make them just like the bikes their older siblings may have.

 The bike comes in three different colours; Primary, Pink and Neon. I'm glad that Zach got the Neon as the colours or so bright and attractive. The Toddlebike costs £23.95 with free UK/Ireland delivery. It is definitely well worth the price. It is available to buy from Amazon, John Lewis or direct from the Toddlebike website

You can catch up with the latest news from Toddlebike on their social media pages
Toddlebike Facebook Page
Toddlebike Twitter Page

We received the item featured free of charge for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Goodbye Heart Murmur?

On Wednesday we had a follow up appointment for Elsie to see how she has improved since her stay on the Children's ward. The main things they wanted to check were her weight gain and general health since her milk change as well as her heart murmur which was still quite noticeable the last time it was checked last month.

The appointment went really well. She is now 11lb 11oz at 12 weeks which is still diddy to us but is a massive improvement considering how she started off and how poorly she was when she was last admitted to hospital. They are really happy with the improvement of her rash which was quite obviously caused by her allergy to cows milk as it is almost non existent now. For me the biggest thing was her heart murmur. I mean there could be much worse problems with babies so we are so lucky that these are the worst of our problems and heart murmurs are very common even if they do usually heal quicker than Elsie's has. Anyway the consultant had a listen to her heart and is pretty sure that she couldn't hear anything (meaning it would have healed). The only thing they want to keep checking is that her bowels are ok. I'll spare you the details but you won't envy the nasty nappies we deal with a few times daily! 

So she has to go back in around three months where they will check her progress again and the Doctor that she was suppose to see Wednesday (who had been called away and so we were given a consultant as cover) will double check her heart again and hopefully she will be discharged! 

I am so happy that she is doing so well after causing such chaos and worry in her first few weeks! Babies are really sent to test us aren't they?!

Monday, 17 November 2014

Review: Frozen Anna Coronation Dress

Well Frozen has taken the world by storm. Every little girl wants to either be Anna or Elsa and the merchandise is selling out as quick as it hits the shelves. I got to make Gracie's dream of being Anna true when we were sent the Anna Coronation dress to review from Otley Run Fancy Dress. On first impressions, the dress looks lovely, it is rich and colourful. It feels just as nice, the material feels like it is great quality. The glitter detail on the dress is great and not that irritating type that comes off everywhere! Nothing annoys me more than my whole house (and everybody in it) being covered in glitter

So What does Gracie think of the dress? She loves it! As you can see she was more than happy to wear it outside for her own personal photo shoot. In fact it's been quite a battle to remove it at times. She asks so nicely to wear it that we can't resist and so Princess Anna has been accompanying us almost everywhere. You can see from the photos that the dress is the perfect length. Not so long that she's tripping over it but long enough to flow perfectly. We chose age 4-5 as that is the size Gracie wears in ordinary clothes and I'd say that it is pretty spot on size wise. The picture below shows the fit of the dress really well.

The Anna Coronation dress is available in a range of sizes from 2-10 years. The dress costs £18.99 which is great for the fantastic quality. There is also a Elsa dress for the same price available here. I can't fault the dress or the service we received. I would definitely recommend this dress for any little Frozen fans.