review

Review: Botley The Coding Robot

Monday, December 10, 2018


Botley is a next generation robot perfect for introducing coding skills to children without the need for screens. My kids were so excited to try out Botley. On first impressions he is a cute little robot with big friendly eyes, you can see why he appeals to kids. He comes with a 77 piece activity kit so there is plenty to get on with.

review

Review: Homedics STRETCH Back Stretching Mat #ad

Tuesday, December 04, 2018


 The Homedics STRETCH Back Stretching Mat is designed for ultimate relaxation. It is pre-programmed with four different sequences designed with inspiration from yoga-style stretches and poses. It is controlled using a handheld remote where you can choose your treatment and intensity level. It is interesting the way it works, it is full of air chambers which inflate and deflate in sequence encouraging you to stretch, release and relax. I have been testing this out myself for the past week. As a yoga fan myself, I wanted to see how it would make me feel and if it would work as well as my old yoga classes. 

Review: HeroDrive DC Super Friends

Monday, December 03, 2018


All of our children are mad on both cars and superheroes, combine the two and it is always going to be a hit. Herodrive is a range of DC Super friends themed vehicles ready for some super powered action. We were sent a few items from the range to review. Read on to see how we got on.



The Herodrive Bat Racer (£24.99) is the largest item in the collection and has the most features. It features lights, engine sounds and music. You can transform it into race mode by pushing the windshield forward which makes the wings pop out. Push the Batman logo on the hood of the car for unique sounds then push again to send it racing forwards. 

The Herodrive Signal Squad (£12.99) is slightly smaller than the Bat Racer and comes in two different character options Superman or Batman. Press the logo on the hood to project the hero's signal and protect the city. 

The Herodrive Mash Machines (£7.99) are the smallest in the range but are a really good size! There are five of these to collect/choose from including Batman, Superman, Aquaman, The Flash and The Joker. Each has flashing lights and character appropriate sounds. 



Zach and Elsie were my assistants when it came to trying out these toys. The Bat Racer was a huge hit with Elsie, we have found it works much better on hard floors so she has had it racing along the kitchen floor, laughing constantly. It has hit my kitchen cupboards far too many times and is still working so I can definitely say it is good quality. Zach's favourites are the Mash Machines, they are much easier to grip for him to race them around himself whilst listening to the sound effects. They both love the Signal Squad car but we found you need a quite dark area for the light to show up.

Overall, the toys were a hit, especially the Bat Racer and the Mash Machines. They would make a great gift for any young superhero or car fans with Christmas coming up. I do have to say I am a little disappointed there doesn't seem to be a Wonder Woman vehicle in the range although she is on the packaging. I hope they decide to add her to the collection in the future.

The Herodrive range is available from Amazon Bat Racer , Mash Machines, Signal Squad and Hamley's. They will also be available at Asda from February onwards.

Elf The Movie

Review: Elf The Movie Pyjamas From New Look

Sunday, December 02, 2018


To celebrate the 15th anniversary of Elf, the movie, I was sent some amazing Elf pyjamas from New Look to try out along with some Elf themed treats. Elf is one of my all-time favourite Christmas films. It is silly, it is fun and it is magical! 


  The best way to spread christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear. 

I love Christmas and all the festive build up that surrounds it. I love to wear Christmas Pyjamas every year and watch Christmas films and singalong to all of the Christmas songs with my family.  I hope that my children grow up with that same love for sharing the christmas spirit together. I think one of my favourite things about the film Elf, is that there are so many non-believers in the film and that Buddy helped make everyone believe in the end. I know my kids are not always going to believe in Santa and elves, but I love that films like this show them that it is ok for them to believe even when others around them no longer do. Christmas is so special when you are surrounded by children who really feel the magic. I think this is why even 15 years later, I watch this film every single Christmas.



I absolutely love the pyjamas. The t-shirt has an image of one of the most unforgettable parts of the film 'OMG, It's Santa, I know him! I know him!' and the trousers are super comfy and covered in festive images including stockings, holly and candy canes. They couldn't be more festive! 


The pyjamas are available in New Look stores now or online at www.newlook.com

playstation

PS4: Something For The Weekend #ad

Saturday, December 01, 2018


The kids have been playing more and more on the Playstation recently which certainly brings back memories for me, as me and my younger brother were probably around their age when we first got our Playstation 1. Games have advanced a lot in that time and there are now so many different games to choose from. The lovely team at Playstation sent us a big box full of Playstation merchandise recently and 12 different games to try out and enjoy as a family. The kids couldn't have been more excited and I have to say I was quite excited too when I saw the list of games. 

Me and Mine

Me and Mine (November 2018)

Friday, November 30, 2018


November started with a really fun family evening watching fireworks at a local village hall. We had the best time, watching the fireworks, eating hot doughnuts and playing hook a duck. It was so nice spending an evening having fun together. We also did some bonfire night food activities making chocolate covered apples and frozen yoghurt pops, as bonfire night itself was a school night, we had just as much fun spending it inside making nice treats.

Christmas 2018

Children's Christmas Gift Guide

Friday, November 30, 2018


As part of my annual children's gift guide I have put together a list of items that I know my children will love. Some have been sent for review and others I have included as I have chosen them for my children personally. 

We are big Harry Potter fans in our house and were recently sent the Harry Potter Wizard Training Wands to review. They have been listed as one of the top 12 toys for Christmas 2018 and I can see why! You can use them to cast spells or play a fun game of wizard tag. I've written a full review which you can read here. These have a RRP of £19.99 each with four designs to choose from.

Christmas 2018

Men's Christmas Gift Guide

Tuesday, November 27, 2018


I find it so difficult to buy for the men in my life without always choosing boring generic items that they need all year round. Here I have a few gift suggestions for men that we have been sent to try. 

If you have already read my food and drinks gift guide you may have seen this item already but I was so impressed I decided to feature it in both. Summerton Club is a premium spirits subscription box containing rare and unique spirits which won't be found on supermarket shelves. Octobers box contained this Limited Edition Swedish single malt whisky, past boxes have contained a selection of aged brandies, whiskies and rums from around the world. It would make the perfect gift for those who love their premium spirits and like to collect drinks for their cabinet collections. The boxes cost £50 including postage, packing and delivery. I think most of the men in my family would be more than pleased to receive something like this to show off.

Christmas 2018

Women's Christmas Gift Guide

Monday, November 26, 2018


I love writing my Christmas guides and trying out new products to share with you all. Here I have a selection of items which would make great gifts for women of all ages. 

Impulse have a range of new Limited Edition Body Mists. They have the Go Get Glitter collection with Coconut Spritz + Glitter Bomb and Melted Candy + Unicorn Dust, both have sweet scents that make you think back to the fun of summer. Both scents are available exclusively at Superdrug with an RRP of £6. They also have their Instagram Stars collection with body mists designed by Sophie Hannah and Helen Anderson. Mermaid Waves + Peachy Paradise by Sophie Hannah and Violet Palms + Neon Nights by Helen Anderson are both more adventurous scents. These two are available exclusively at Boots with an RRP of £6. They would make a great stocking filler item for any beauty loving ladies. 


Harry Potter

Review: Harry Potter Wizard Training Wands

Thursday, November 22, 2018


Last week the Top 12 toys for Christmas were announced at Dreamtoys. Included in this list was the Harry Potter Wizard Training Wand. There are four different wands in the collection including Harry Potter's, Hermione's, Dumbledores and Lord Voldemort's. Each wand has its own unique design to look like that of the character's. We were sent a Harry Potter wand and a Hermione wand to try out and test both the single and multiplay features.

board game

Review: Paddington Sightseeing Adventures

Wednesday, November 21, 2018


One of our favourite things to do as a family is play board games. We have a cupboard full of fun games for us all to enjoy and I love how it encourages us to turn off all technology and have fun together on rainy days. The kids are big fans of Paddington Bear since the movies came out, especially Elsie, and I thought they would love to try out the Paddington Sightseeing Adventures game.

Christmas 2018

Christmas Food & Drinks Guide

Monday, November 19, 2018


I love Christmas and buying gifts for loved ones. I am surrounded by people who of course love their food and drinks so this year I was inspired to put together a guide full of fantastic food and drinks gifts.

Summerton Club is a premium spirits subscription box containing rare and unique spirits which won't be found on supermarket shelves. Octobers box contained this Limited Edition Swedish single malt whisky, past boxes have contained a selection of aged brandies, whiskies and rums from around the world. It would make the perfect gift for those who love their premium spirits and like to collect drinks for their cabinet collections. The boxes cost £50 including postage, packing and delivery. 

Tyre Care and Maintenance

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

As car owners you are responsible for making sure your vehicle is safe to drive and fit for the roads. One of these responsibilities is to ensure that your tyres are maintained to a good standard.


review

Review: Mr Frosty Choc Ice Maker

Thursday, November 08, 2018


My kids love food activities. I however, struggle with having the patience to help them all when it comes to these kind of activities. I can't even explain how much I love it when something easy to use without too many ingredients comes along and we actually manage to create something stress-free and fun! The Mr Frosty Choc Ice Maker is just that. Included in the kit is; a silicone mould with penguin and snowman shapes, six reusable lollipop sticks and an igloo which can be use to melt the chocolate in with a lid that can stand the finished choc ices. It is as simple as that. You just need to provide the food items as and when needed. 

review

Review: Little Dragons Cafe Playstation4

Friday, November 02, 2018


Back in September at Blog On Xmas, I came across the team promoting Little Dragons Cafe. My children are not big gamers, they struggle with so many games needing lots of assistance which I struggle to give as I suffer with motion sickness if I spend too long on any console! For that reason they usually only use the Playstation to watch Netflix but I thought this game looked perfect for them. 

home

It Is Almost Time To Decorate #Ad

Thursday, November 01, 2018

Before Photo- Living Room
Since buying our house back in May, we have had lots of work going on. We have had the whole house rewired, the roof repaired, leaks fixed and all sorts of other fixing jobs. We have finished decorating the boys bedroom with freshly painted walls and a new carpet. I have painted the Kitchen to give it a fresh new look. In 5 months we have achieved a lot but still have a long way to go. With Christmas coming up, we are desperate to have the girls' and our bedrooms plastered and decorated, before we start on our living/dining rooms in the New Year. We currently have just stripped walls and bare floorboards in the bedrooms so it will be amazing to have everything feeling so homely!

Me and Mine

Me and Mine (October 2018)

Wednesday, October 31, 2018


October has been a mixed month. We have managed to get a lot more done in the house over the weekends and are feeling very much like things are finally coming together. We are almost ready to start decorating the rest of the bedrooms in the house, so fingers crossed we will all be sleeping in our own rooms again soon (hurrah). We managed a brief trip back to Coventry to see some family for the first time since moving. We didn't see everyone we wanted to though so will hopefully be back again soon.

Halloween

Halloween: Why We Love It Despite The Haters

Monday, October 29, 2018


I have always loved Halloween. I remember trick or treating every year back when I was a child. It usually involved dressing in a bin bag with a plastic witches nose and a supermarket carrier bag to hold any sweeties. My brother would be wrapped in numerous rolls of toilet paper which would rarely last the night or wearing a cheap silly mask. It definitely wasn't as commercialised as it is these days, yet with the surge of popularity, people seem to be much more vocal about their hate for it. 

Made With Love And Sparkle #ad

Monday, October 15, 2018


One thing that I love to have in my home is personalised gifts. I have so many little treasures gifted to me over the years by family and friends and I love displaying them around my home. I also love to buy thoughtful gifts for my loved ones and will always try to find something special for them on occasions. Made With Love & Sparkle make a large range of personalised gifts for everyone and I had the difficult choice of deciding on an item from their website recently.

World Mental Health Day: The Truth

Friday, October 12, 2018


Wednesday was World Mental Health Day. I didn’t write about it because I had a bad day and the last thing I want to do on a bad day is write or do anything for myself. My blog is suffering at the moment because of the way I feel and I don’t know what to do about it. Sometimes I can pick myself up and feel motivated for a day or two but it doesn’t last long and I am back to square one again. 

In all honesty I feel worse at the moment than I ever have in my life. I thought moving away and having a fresh start would be good for me. I thought I would spend my days enjoying the country air and chatting to new mums at the school at pick up and drop off time. I thought I could reinvent myself and become a happier me. In reality, I have never felt more isolated and alone. In the five months since I have moved, I have lost almost all of my old friends and haven’t made a single new one. 

review

Review: Four Fit Healthband

Saturday, October 06, 2018


It is safe to say that I am a stress eater. Whenever I go through stressful situations I entertain myself with food. In the past year I have put on more weight than I would like to admit. Buying a house and all of the problems that come with being a homeowner has certainly seen me finding comfort in my food. However, I want to change that cycle and feel healthier in myself. I have been using the FourFit Healthband to try and help myself keep track of my daily activity and my overall health.

review

Review: Zoomer Hungry Bunnies

Tuesday, October 02, 2018


Elsie is massively into her interactive animal toys at the moment, her latest being the Zoomer Hungry Bunnies. Zoomer Hungry Bunnies really eat! The Zoomer hungry bunny comes with 4 snack sheets, full of tasty treats to serve your bunny, a treat tracer to create your own snacks using paper, a snack basket for you to build yourself and an instruction leaflet explaining how to use the different features. After a meal the hungry bunny will poop a colourful confetti surprise. 

Me and Mine

Me and Mine (September 2018)

Sunday, September 30, 2018



September has been an incredibly difficult month for us all. We moved back into our house the evening before the children returned to school and it was a mess. We have thankfully decorated the boys room so all of the children are sleeping together in there at the moment but we have had so much to do and it has been stressful to say the least. 

review

Review: Fab Lab Festival Face Tattoos

Thursday, September 13, 2018


We went on a big family holiday to a lovely cottage in Pembrokeshire over the summer holidays. We weren't sure what the weather would be like whilst there but we were a short way from a lovely beach and made sure we took plenty of things to entertain the children. I decided to take along the Fab Lab Festival Face Tattoo set from Interplay. We were also celebrating Elsie's birthday while we were away and we thought it would be great fun to have a go at decorating all of their faces. 

review

Review: Fab Lab Tie Dye Kit

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Over the summer Gracie and I decided to do a few fun craft activities together. One of these was to have a go at creating our own tie dye t-shirts. We used the Fab Lab Tie Dye kit which comes with four different colour dyes, disposable gloves, a bag full of elastic bands and a full instruction booklet. We read through the instruction leaflet to see the different patterns we could make and decided to try out two of them.

glasses

Review: M&S Opticians Intu Derby

Thursday, September 06, 2018


Marks & Spencer have recently opened up opticians in five of their stores, Westfield London, Manchester, Derby, York and Bolton. I was asked to visit the Derby store recently to test out the service. I booked my appointment online at www.mandsopticians.com for the weekend after they opened and headed to the store at INTU shopping centre in Derby. 

Me and Mine

Me and Mine (August 2018)

Friday, August 31, 2018


August saw us temporarily move out of our house for three weeks while we had the whole place rewired. It was a huge job, we had to move out the majority of our belongings into storage and the whole brood descended on the poor in-laws. Thankfully it was the school holidays and we tried to keep busy with walks to the park or trips out and our final week was spent on holiday. 

It was the first big family holiday we have had with all of the children together. We stayed in a lovely cottage in Pembrokeshire along with the in-laws and the two dogs. We spent most of our days at different beaches, we celebrated Elsie's birthday and watched the sunset from the cottage balcony most evenings. I was in my element being able to take nice pictures of everyone and everything. It was a really beautiful place and it was really nice to have a break. 

September will see us moving back into our shell of a house and the children returning or starting their brand new school. 

Back To School Supplies

Tuesday, August 21, 2018


In just a few weeks the children will be heading back to school. There are a lot of nerves and excitement in our house about the prospect of the new school year. Gracie only had three weeks in her new school at the end of last term and it will be brand new for Zach when he starts Year 1 in September. We are hoping Elsie will start shortly afterwards if a place becomes available for her in our new local school. With all of the stress of moving and sorting schools I have left a lot of my school shopping until last minute. I grabbed most of the uniform last week in Sainsbury's while they had 25% off clothing.

All three children have lovely new school shoes courtesy of Get The Label, you can take a look and read the review here. They have also received some lovely items from a few of our favourite brands which we wanted to share with you. In the picture above you will see Zach's amazing new personalised water bottle from itsyourstory. He got to choose a character from a wide range including a monkey,  fireman, footballer, cowboy and many more but he chose the cheeky monkey because it was funny. I uploaded a photo file during the order process and now he has his very own 'cheeky monkey Zachary' bottle. He absolutely loves it and can't wait to take it to school with him.


Gracie has been really enjoying creative writing recently so was amazed at the contents of our Smiggle delivery. She now has a lovely 'Now You See Me Twin Zip Pencil Case' in purple to store all of her pencils and colouring pencils along with a lovely sequin mermaid notepad to jot down ideas and stories in. She seems to come home from school really inspired by what she is learning so it will be really nice for her to be able to come home and let her creative juices flow with her new stationery. 


Another item from our Smiggle goody bag was this water bottle. Although Zach was photographed with it when it arrived, it seems Elsie has taken a liking towards it so has decided that as Zach has a water bottle already, she should have the cool space water bottle. This comes in lots of different designs and colours.

All we need now is to get back in our house in time for the new school year and a phone call to say Elsie can start too!


back to school

Review: Get The Label School Shoes

Friday, August 17, 2018


I hate school shoe shopping. Last year I had to go all over trying to find shoes for each of the children and it ended up costing me a fortune. Elsie has teeny tiny feet so I had trouble finding her black shoes small enough and found that there were only two brands which sold black shoes in an infant size 5. This year though I haven't had that trouble because I was contacted by Get The Label and to my utter surprise they had shoes that fit all three children and at great prices. 

Our Dream Garden

Tuesday, August 14, 2018


Last weekend we spent two whole days clearing out a large section of our garden. We chopped down some trees and bushes to clear some very cluttered areas down the side of our sheds and have managed to create even more space in what was already a very spacious garden. We are so lucky to have such a large open garden and our plan is to really make the most of it. We have a patio area for seating and BBQ, followed by a grassy area for the children to play in, behind this again we have two sheds, a fruit patch, more grass and lots of bushes and hedges which we would like to cut back and replace with fencing. 


We still have a lot more to clear at the moment and I think it is going to take us a few months to get rid of it all but we have already been discussing ideas and plans for the future of our garden. Both Sam and I have totally different hobbies, I like to write and he likes to play guitar, obviously the two don't always go together very well so we have been thinking about installing a summer house/shed in the garden for leisure use. We already have a shed to store the lawnmower and tools etc. in and a smaller one for children's outdoor toys but it would be lovely to have an area to escape to for quiet concentration, or even a noise proof one to send him to!



I would love a nice large one right at the bottom end of the garden, big enough for some comfortable furniture and with plenty of windows to enjoy the surrounding view. In fact it would be great for the Summer holidays while the children are playing outdoors most of the day too. I could get an hour or so of work done each day whilst keeping an eye on them at the same time. I find I have to work late at night in the holidays as it is so difficult to find the time whilst entertaining children. I have seen some great examples at www.gbcgroup.co.uk  there are so many options when it comes to size and shape to suit each individual garden.

I cannot wait to have our dream garden and with a bit of hard work and determination we will have just that in the next few years!

*This is a collaborative post

fashion

Fosse Fashionista My Primark Fashion Spree #Ad

Monday, August 06, 2018

I was recently asked to visit Fosse Park, a large retail park in Leicester, to shop my summer look with vouchers for a store of my choice. There are lots of great clothing retailers including M&S, Primark, River Island, Outfit, New Look and Next. They also have Office if you are more into your shoes! I decided to do my shopping in Primark because they suit my everyday budget. If I need an outfit Primark is my usual go to for affordable fashion. I also knew I would get a bit more for my money in Primark and could end up with a handful of fab new outfits for this beautiful summer we are having!

Playsuit- Primark £15
Here are a selection of my favourite items. The playsuit above caught my eye straight away and cost just £15. I wore it on our recent trip to Tutbury Castle and it was so comfortable and I felt great in it. 

The outfit below is a lovely blue skirt. I already have one just like it but in black/white stripe which I bought from Primark a few years back. Blue isn't usually my colour but I was persuaded to try it on and when looking for something to wear with it this shirt caught my eye. I fell in love with them both as soon as I tried them on. Both items were £10 each and both can be styled with many other items of clothing to make different outfits!
Top- Primark £10, Skirt- Primark £10
I love a good t-shirt and as soon as I saw this one (below) on the rail, I knew I had to have it. I am a huge friends fan and have had so many comments on this t-shirt after sharing it on IG. 
T-Shirt - Primark £8



I also bought two more t-shirts (top right, bottom right) , a pair of comfortable flat shoes, a belt and a few vest tops. I could have bought so much more. The Primark store was so much bigger than it looked from outside and I was so impressed with the range of stores available for a retail park. 

*I was given a £100 Primark voucher for this promotion. All photos and words are my own. 

Me and Mine (July 2018)

Tuesday, July 31, 2018


July was a month full of adventures for us. We started it with a family trip strawberry picking at Scaddows farm. I had never been fruit picking before so it was one of my requests for the Summer and we all had so much fun picking and then eating the strawberries!

Gracie started her new school at the beginning of July so we have been walking lots to and from the school on the school runs. We have also been involved in quite a few school activities already too. We went to watch her compete in sports day with her house team. We also went along to enterprise day where every class made something to sell or came up with a fun idea to raise money to go towards lots of new and exciting things for the school. Gracie's class made their own flavoured popcorn which we had to buy lots of as she was so pleased with herself.

We went on a family shopping trip to Fosse Park in Leicester as part of a campaign which was really fun. I had to choose some summer outfits for myself and have my picture taken by a GIF machine. Thankfully the kids quite like shopping so I got some nice new clothes and we all got to have a browse around the shops and a bite to eat.

We also spent a day at Tutbury castle which is now quite local to us and a place Sam had wanted to take us. It was a lovely sunny day and the castle had free entry that particular day so we had a lovely low cost family day out costing us just the price of yummy ice cream. This months photo was a quick selfie we took whilst sat on the castle walls admiring the views around us. The sun was in our eyes so there are a lot of squinty faces but it is a nice photo to remind us of a lovely day out.

We are now into the school summer holidays and we are looking forward to an action-packed August full of sun and adventures.

The Me + Mine Project - Dear Beautiful

crafts

Review: Great Gizmos Craft Activities For All Ages

Monday, July 30, 2018


It has been a few years since we last worked with Great Gizmos. Great Gizmos are a provider of fun, creative, educational toys and gifts for children. They got in touch to see if we would like to try some of their creative products and sent items to suit each of the children. First up is the Big Box of Fashion, Fairies & Flowers stencils. I immediately knew this would really suit Elsie. She loves drawing but hasn't really got the skills yet to draw whatever she wants so the stencils would mean she could have a go at creating beautiful drawings that she wouldn't usually be able to do. She absolutely loved the set. It came with 5 large plastic stencil sheets, 6 colouring pencils, 20 sheets of pretty paper and 1 pencil sharpener. Elsie has loved making everybody lovely drawings and the stencils themselves are making her more aware of colouring in the lines and she has been practicing her name too using the alphabet stencils.

filofax

Planning and Designing With Filofax

Wednesday, July 25, 2018


Just before I moved to our new house, I received a surprise parcel from Filofax containing one of their new marble covered A5 notebooks. Now that we are kind of settled I have managed to unpack some of my desk supplies including my new Filofax notebook and I am able to start planning what needs doing in the house. We have a few big jobs coming up over the summer including a whole house rewire, roof repairs and some plastering which are all booked in now. Those jobs feel completely out of my control though so I am keeping myself busy with other plans. 

Marques De Caceres Wine #ad

Monday, July 16, 2018


I can't remember the last time we had such an amazing Summer and what better way is there to enjoy the sunshine than socialising outdoors with friends and family. We have been enjoying a selection of different wines from Marques de Caceres over the past few weeks and have been sharing them with friends and family on various occasions. We have been having BBQ's most weekends since we moved into our new house and everybody loves a refreshing glass of wine on a summer evening with tasty food. Everybody has their own taste when it comes to wine so I have been sure to see what others think as well as myself. I personally love sweet fruity wines and found the Rose was more to my taste than the others so was the first to be finished during our BBQ's. It had a very floral taste to it and wasn't as sweet as I would usually pick but it was full of flavour and had a nice fresh taste. The Blanco White was also popular amongst guests. It was very rich and dry so not really to my taste but I am in the minority when it comes to most of our family and friends as they prefer dry wines and tend to give me any that are too sweet for them. It worked out perfectly having a mix of wines to suit everybody.

exploring

Exploring Our New Area

Tuesday, July 10, 2018


We have been in our new house about 5 weeks now. The first few weeks flew by as we were so busy unpacking and decorating the boys bedroom but things have calmed down a bit now and we are finding time to explore our new area. We are so lucky to be surrounded by so much greenery now and everywhere you turn there are forests and fields. Towards the back of our house is a small forest area which is great for dog walkers and we have taken Dolly and Toby to play over there which the kids loved! Further down the road from our house is a park and nature reserve which is probably one of my favourite places to visit locally.

Scaddows Farm

Strawberry Picking At Scaddow's Farm (South Derbyshire)

Thursday, July 05, 2018



I have always wanted to go strawberry picking and have never got around to actually doing so. Despite the fact that we now have lots of other berries growing in our garden, I still wanted to experience a family outing to pick our own strawberries. Gracie is the only one of the kids who had done it before, the day that I went into hospital to have my C-section with Elsie, my auntie and cousin took Gracie out for the day for me and so she was excited to go and do it again. As we have moved, I did a bit of research on local places to pick your own fruit and came across Scaddows Farm in South Derbyshire where you can go to pick strawberries, raspberries, gooseberries, redcurrants and blackcurrants. 

#BoardGameClub

Review: Colt Express

Monday, July 02, 2018


Our latest review for the blogger board game club is Colt Express. It's 1899 and the Union Pacific Express is headed north to deliver its payroll and forty-seven passengers. Suddenly the train is attacked by a host of thieving bandits aiming to become the richest outlaw of the Old West. In this game, players take on the role of the outlaws battling against each other to collect the most loot from the 3D train. Each turn, players plan ahead by playing action cards to steal loot, shoot their opponents, move around the train, and elude the marshal's bullets.

It is a game of both tactics and luck. If you have been shot too many times by your opponents you can end up with a hand full of useless bullets lowering your amount of action cards. The game can be played with between 2-6 players and is recommended for ages 10+. I'm not sure why that is the age guideline as we actually managed to play with both Gracie (7) and Zach (5). Gracie managed to play with no assistance and Zach needed a little assistance but we managed to have a few really fun games together as a family. I would definitely recommend it as a family game. 

It does take quite a while to set up the first time you play. You have to put together the 3D train with carriages and we did have the wheels on one of the carriages break which was a shame. The box is set up so that you can store it built up though so the next time you play it doesn't require the whole set up again. Once it is built you can add the money bags, gems and characters to the train ready to play. There are a few different rounds and each round a different person starts. The instructions are quite straight forward and there are advanced ways to play too to add a little more excitement to the game. 

Overall we really enjoyed this game. It is definitely one we will play regularly. Any game that has all of the family laughing and enjoying time together is a win for me. 

Me and Mine

Me and Mine (June 2018)

Saturday, June 30, 2018


At the end of May we moved into our lovely new home. This month we have spent a lot of time working on the house or enjoying time in the garden. The kids love playing out in their new big garden and have been out there most days since we moved in. They have also had the whole of June off school as there were no places available in our local school but Gracie will be starting in her new class at the start of next month.

We have had a few BBQ's this month. It has been nice being able to eat alfresco together. We also invested in a big paddling pool to enjoy with the nice weather and have made an effort to explore our local area including the local park and nature reserve.

It has been a great month for us and we can't wait to see what July has in store.


The Me + Mine Project - Dear Beautiful

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