Articles tagged with: Reviews

Two Very Special Friends.

on Tuesday, 15 April 2014.

There are many very special things about being a parent.  But one of them is seeing the magic on your children's faces when they experience something new and exciting for the first time.  Those twinkly eyes dancing around, the happy smiles and the sheer wonder etched across their faces.  

Blogging has brought me a great many things but last week I did something with my girls which truly was so simple yet so special.  We went to make two very special new friends.

I have known about Build a Bear Workshop for a long time, in fact Mads has 'Rosie Rabbit', who one of our dear friends bought for her on the day LL was born.  However we hadn't been before, mainly due to the fact that I wanted to wait until they were old enough to understand.  I was really excited to take them, and Mads was excited to go and 'make a special friend' too. 


We arrived and were greeted by the two lovely members of staff who were helping us make our new friends.


There were lots of different animals to choose from but after careful consideration Mads decided she wanted a lamb and she wanted LL to have a bunny.


First up we were told to cuddle each animal to make sure that the cuddles were good.  Mads thought the lamb was very cuddly!


It was then over to the sound machine to pick a sound for our new chums.  Mads decided that her lamb would say 'I love you' and LL had to have One Direction 'What makes you beautiful' because she gets so excited and dances every time the song comes on.  


The Build a Bear experience is so hands on for children, Mads was absolutely transfixed with everything that was going on and her smile was honestly so wide.  


The next thing to do was give our friends some stuffing.  Mads get to help do hers and LL's by pressing on the foot pump.  This was 'the best thing ever.'


LL was in awe of everything and the staff were so lovely with her, telling us that she had made their day with her happy smiles.  Auntie Annie doesn't look so impressed!


Cuddling to make sure the stuffing was perfect.


Next we needed to give our friends a heart.  We had to kiss it, shake it and rub it on our knees as our new friends would always '(k)need us.'  The staff were so great at making it an amazing experience.


His heart went in so he was ready to be stitched up.


LL loved to crawl round the shop and stand up to try all the things for herself.


Next up our new friends needed a bath and their fur brushing.  


We then had to decide on outfits for the as yet named Lamb and Bunny.  Mads decided the lamb was a boy and the bunny was a girl so we set about sorting out their new wardrobes.


As Mads is obsessed with Toy Story, it was entirely necessary to go for a Woody outfit.  LL's bunny was dressed in a pretty summer dress.  We also bought them a pair of pj's each as well.


Finally we needed to make our new friends a birth certificate.  It was decided then that lamb would be 'Woody' (we are nothing but original) and bunny would be 'Blossom'.


And that was it!  We were given boxes to carry Blossom and Woody and sent home to enjoy our new friendships.


I can honestly say that since we brought them home, Mads hasn't been too far away from her new friend Woody.  She absolutely loves him, and the fact that she got to experience seeing him made has meant it is all the more special for her.  She asks to put his PJ's on every night, although this means bedtime takes twice as long.  And LL loves to snuggle in close to her new bunny Blossom too.

The Build a Bear concept is simple, but we truly had such a special time there.  The staff were amazing with the girls, and the whole experience is so special for children.  Mads was at the perfect age to enjoy it and find it so magical, and LL just smiled and giggled non stop.  I found it so wonderful watching them having such a great time, and I will remember it for a long time.  There is something so lovely about watching your children's innocence and child like wonder.  

We can't recommend Build a Bear highly enough, and I know that Woody and Blossom will be special for a very long time.  In fact as I write this there are two little girls snuggled up in bed asleep with their arms tucked around their lovingly created new friends.


NB. We were invited to try out the Build a Bear experience and given two bears and some accessories (plus buying some too!) but all thoughts and opinions are my own, and we would have written about it anyway.  It's the most fun my girls have had in ages!


The One Where I Totally Fail At Being Kate Moss...

on Thursday, 03 April 2014.

For someone who adores her camera and documenting every single memory I can, there is one thing I absolutely HATE with a passion.  Photographs of me.  Don't get me wrong, I like natural shots with my babies, and I love the odd 'selfie' on my iPhone but ask me to pose for a photo and I end up looking incredibly uncomfortable.  

However as a Mum I don't get to treat myself as much as I used to.  Before children my money used to go on exciting things such as holidays, bags and clothes.  Nowadays I have much less and it goes on mortgage payments, bills and clothes for them.  Therefore when Florence and Fred got in touch to see if I would like to try some of their range I thought I would put aside my serious 'being in front of the camera' anxiety and channel my inner Kate Moss.  If you want a laugh keep scrolling down.

I must admit I don't buy a huge amount of clothes from Tesco for myself.  I have the odd thing from there, and my girls probably have over half their range every season, (it washes so well for the price!) but it's not somewhere where I would particularly shop for things for me.  However I was so impressed with the amount of things they had on their website and I had a great time picking out some bits and pieces from their collection.

Aside from being uncomfortable and tense in these photos, I also don't have the luxury of Mario Testino photographing me, instead I had a slightly grumpy husband who had just got home from work and wasn't impressed with my modelling.  But here is what I purchased...


Awkward pose and expression aside I love this spotty pinky jumper.  I teamed it with my own shirt and jeans, and it is something I know that I will wear a lot.


Kate Moss so wouldn't leave the coathanger plastic thingy out.  Rookie mistake.  


Nervous laughter and Kate Moss would definitely have had one of her assistants pull those unsightly weeds up.  But I do love this flowery dress, I have a fair few family things coming up so will wear this when I want to be smart casual with tights and boots.  Note to self- remember to straighten hair properly next time.


A solution!  Grab a baby to pose with- that will make it easier.  I really like this white chiffon top, it doesn't cling to my tummy and is smarter than just a t-shirt.  Love the pumps as well, I have a thing for neon.


Love them- perfect for Spring.


Love my Russian Doll necklace.


The smallest model was starting to get fed up by this point, and was a little embarrassed about standing outside our house posing for all the neighbours to see.  But I do love this neon striped top, it's perfect for wearing on my endless exciting and glamorous trips to soft play.  Basic but pretty.


Did you know that F&F also do gym stuff?  Nope I didn't either.  I am happy in this one as I am about to run away from the camera, love this neon orange vestt!

I also got two beautiful little sets of dungarees for the girls (can't beat kids in dungarees in my opinion!) but they are shorts for summer and are a little big at the moment so they will fit in time for our holiday.  I am really pleased with the outfits that I selected and it was so lovely to be able to treat myself to some things for me.  Definitely worth ten minutes worth of awkward photo taking.  I am pretty sure Kate Moss won't be concerned about me taking any work off her soon!

Thank you so much Florence and Fred.


NB.  I was gifted £100 to spend online at F&F as part of their #ffontrendmum campaign.  All thoughts, opinions and horrendously awkward poses are entirely my own.


Design a Custom Cover With Mini Boden.

on Tuesday, 25 February 2014.


One brand that I adore for clothes for my little ladies is Boden.  I love the bright colours of the clothes and the styles, and of course the fact that they wear so well too.  In my opinion it is worth spending a little more money on certain items knowing that they will get the wear out of them.  

Anyhow I digress.  Boden has created a really fun little app that lets your child create their own custom cover for their own mini Boden cover.  I often get stuck for activities to do on rainy days and so we thought it would be fun to give it a try. 

Mads is really starting to enjoy playing with the iPad and the laptop, and we try and find creative or educational activities for her to do on there.  We both really enjoyed making the cover together, we talked about the design and had a giggle over the different animals and things that could live on the island. 

The illustrations are right up my street, really pretty and colourful, and what makes it even better is that 10,000 mini designers will receive their exclusively designed Boden catalogue through the post.  I know Mads will be really excited to receive her own design.  What's more, Boden are donating £1 for every cover created to Kids Company, and also there is a chance to win lots of amazing prices, like an Ipad.

 If that wasn't good enough, you can also share your Tweet with Tots100 for a chance to win £100 in Boden vouchers.  Have a click here to find out a little bit more.


Here is Mads design...


I am actually quite impressed by this, I would totally have it as a print on the wall of my toilet or something!  Maybe she is taking after her Daddy and I have a budding designer in the making!


 This post was writen in association with Mini Boden and Tots100.

A Girly Day at Ragdale Hall...

on Tuesday, 07 January 2014.


When I was pregnant with LL, I went to Ragdale Hall with my Mum and sister for a spa day.  It was one of the best days I have had in such a long time, full of relaxation, chatting and laughing.  However one big problem was because I was pregnant I couldn't enjoy all the heat experiences (although there is lots you can still do) and so I have been wanting to go back ever since!  Therefore when the opportunity arose for me to go back with Lucy we jumped at the chance.

We set off for a day of pampering early, and I cannot tell you how much I was looking forward to it, with it being the first time I had been away for a day from LL since she was born ten months earlier.  And it certainly didn't disappoint.  We had a wonderful day with lots and lots of chatting and giggling- in fact my throat was sore when I came home from talking too much.

Ragdale Hall is beautiful, and from the second you step in the door it is almost as if your worries just disappear instantly.  There are people in white fluffy robes everwhere, lounging on sofas, playing games with a cup of coffee or snuggled up in a corner somewhere reading a book.  

The spa itself is world class- with lots of different heat experiences, including a colour flow cave, volcanic salt bat, outdoor heated pool, and my favourite the beautiful candlelit pool.  There is a large pool with a jaquzzi as well.  There are chill out areas everywhere, and you can't help but want to snuggle up with a magazine.

We had a delicious healthy lunch in the restaurant, in our robes which somehow made it even more relaxing, including the most amazing chocolate mousse.  The service was second to none, with the staff incredibly friendly and chatting throughout.

Of course you can get treatments at Ragdale, which I did last time I was there, but we preferred to just sit and chat all day.  We certainly did a lot of that!

It was the most lovely day with one of my best friends, and I certainly cannot recommend Ragdale enough.  I am already looking at going back with my mum and my sister, and talking about going with Lucy again this year as well.  If you are looking for a relaxing, luxurious day then you definitely won't be disappointed at booking Ragdale Hall.

Thank you so much to Ragdale for giving us a day to remember.





We received a complimentary experience day at Ragdale Hall for the purpose of this review, but all thoughts and opinons are entirely my own.  I can't recommend Ragdale enough.  You can read my previous review here.

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