Friday 30 November 2018

Roald Dahl's Children's Charity Mascot Brought To Life by Be My Bear

A few months ago we were lucky enough to work with Be My Bear and create a new furry friend at home for James, Well now they have brought the Roald Dahl Children's Charity Mascot to life!


Be My Bear partners with Roald Dahl's Marvellous Children's Charity to bring Marvin, the Marvellous Crocodile to life!
Award-winning teddy bear brand Be My Bear has teamed up with Roald Dahl's Marvellous Children's Charity for a gloriumptious partnership which aims to raise vital funds and awareness for seriously ill children across the UK.
The partnership has seen the Roald Dahl Charity mascot, 'Marvin, the Marvellous Crocodile' brought to life as a lovable licensed character and added to the extensive range of build anywhere bears and animal friends currently available from Be My Bear.
Ten percent of all proceeds from this fantastic, or as Dahl would say 'whoopsy-splunkers' product will be donated to the charity, which funds Roald Dahl specialist children's nurses in communities across the UK.  Each nurse provides expert care and support to children with serious illnesses and their families.
The charity was set up in memory of Roald Dahl (originally as the Roald Dahl Foundation) by his widow Felicity, shortly after his death in 1990.  A fitting tribute to her husband, who generously gave his time and money to help seriously ill children and their families, many he never met.
Pippa Thomas, Managing Director of Be My Bear said, "We are thrilled to be working with such a marvellous charity helping to support more than 21,000 children each year. It has been an exciting journey bringing to life one of the great Quentin Blake's characters ensuring we captured Marvin's snappy personality in our design. We anticipate whoopsy whiffling sales and a giganticus boost for the charity!"
Be My Bear's special limited edition 'Marvin, the Marvellous Crocodile' character is available now priced at just £20.00 and can be purchased direct from or a selection of retail outlets.  Marvin is sure to be a phizz-whizzing hit with kiddles (children for those of us who don't speak Dahl's Gobblefunk language) and adults alike, not to mention a cherished piece of Dahlesque history for collectors worldwide.
Be My Bear is the UK's original and leading retailer of fun, no-sew, build anywhere bear products which can quite literally be made anywhere.  Proudly featured on television shows such as The X-Factor, The Apprentice and Hollyoaks, Be My Bear have a product for every occasion, from gifts to party packs, the choices are endless.  Find out more about the amazing world of Be My Bear by visiting or calling them directly on 01492 544666.
We will definitely be having a look at this mascot online as soon as possible! 

**We have not been paid for this post, We have posted it as we love Be My Bear!**

Wednesday 28 November 2018

Portable North Pole Magic Pass

Christmas is my favourite time of year and now that the boys are getting older the magic of Christmas is really coming alive!

Ever since James first Christmas back in 2012 we have done the videos from Santa on the Portable North Pole (PNP) Website for him and then once Freddie came along we started doing them for him as well.

When Portable North Pole asked if we would like to try out their Magic Pass for creating calls and videos for the boys we were thrilled!

The first screen you see when you open up the app is a screen saying Portable North Pole in four different languages with a picture of santa. What I like is that it is the same Santa on the picture that is in the videos you can create!

When the app opens it opens straight into a kids area where there is messages from Santa, a talking elf, an advent calendar and an elfie where you can turn yourself into an elf! The boys absolutely loved turning themselves and mummy into an elf!

One of the options was to created a birthday message. For us having a November baby in Freddie we thought this would be brilliant. Especially as he is now turning 3 and he is starting to get into the magic of Santa.We played the birthday message for Freddie on his birthday and he absolutely loved it! I think it helped that we had actually been to see Santa the day before his birthday!

Mummy has been having lots of fun creating messages for James and Freddie to watch over the next few weeks including a special one for Christmas Eve.
The first call we tried was the behavior saying the boys were almost good. Freddie got very excited and was shouting Santa! Santa!

The best thing that mummy has found is that to get into the parent area you need to have a pin code. This is a life saver as it means the boys can play on the kids area as much as they want but they can't get into the creating area so they can't see the videos and calls that mummy and daddy have got set up ready to go on Christmas eve!

The Magic Pass costs £10.99 and is valid for a full year and the Lifetime Magic Pass is £19.99 and is valid for ten years!

We are definitely going to keep on using the pass over the next year that it is valid and I have a feeling we will be investing in the ten year pass once this one expires!

**We were gifted the one year Magic Pass in exchange for this review. All words and photos are my own**

Tuesday 27 November 2018

Meeting Santa at Wyevale Garden Centre

Now that Christmas is almost upon us and what better way to celebrate than taking the boys to see Santa.

When the email arrived in our inbox inviting us to meet Santa at our local Wyevale Garden Centre at Gosforth Park we were so excited!

This year Santa arrived at the centre on 17th November so we decided to visit on 24th November, the day before our little Freddie Bear turned three!

We were booked in to see Santa at 2pm and all morning before we left all we heard from James was how many minutes till we go to see Santa?

To get to the garden centre from our house it took two short bus rides. First one into Newcastle city centre and then the second out to the garden centre.

After taking a wrong turn getting off the bus and then getting lost in the actual garden centre we made it to the grotto. If fact we actually walked past it at first thinking it was part of the Christmas display! If it hadn't been for Santa's elf coming out of the hut I think we would have probably walked past it again!

 Santa's Elf came out and took the boys names and write them both a name sticker, then she went into see if Santa was ready to see the boys which he was! While she went into check with Santa, Daddy and the boys sat down on a bench.

When we got into the cabin James was full of chat about what he wanted for Christmas, Freddie however only went as far as the door before saying No and standing outside! This was a big improvement on last year when we went to see a free Santa in a shopping centre, with James refused to go in at the last minute and then Freddie burst into tears the second he got near Santa! 

Santa was really good with both boys asking James for a high five which he gladly did a couple of times. James told Santa exactly what he would like for Christmas ie an action camera and a crate creature! He even told Santa what Freddie would like aka a Ninky Nonk and a kids camera so he would stop stealing mummys camera!

Both boys then got a lovely Christmas related stuffed toy each, James chose a reindeer for Freddie and a snowman for himself! Then they both got certificates for being good! 

After getting a photo of Santa and his Elf we said goodbye. We then went and looked at all the Christmas decorations in the rest of the garden centre before we made our way back for the bus into town! This time we didn't get lost and made it back in good time.

We had a lovely time meeting Santa and would definitely recommend the Wyevale Garden Centre experiences!! The Grotto experience is £6 per child and can be booked up to 24 hours in advance online!!

**We were gifted the tickets for the boys in exchange for this review! All words and pictures are our own!**

Living Arrows 2018 48/53

Welcome back to another week of Living Arrows hosted by Donna over at What The Redhead Said. If you are new to this then the name of the linky comes from the poem by Kahlil Gibran "You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth"

This has been a pretty busy and fun week for James and Freddie as we finished the weekend with Freddie's 3rd Birthday!

James has been pretty busy at school as they are gearing up not only for the Key Stage 1 Christmas show, but also the project outcome for their essential question of "What Mysteries Does The Sea Hold?" He has been singing a sea shanty none stop for the last couple of weeks, so mummy is really looking forward to going to see what they have learned this term!

Freddie has had a lovely week at playgroup and he went bouncing in with a smile on his face both days! Mummy can't believe that come January he will be in everyday except a Friday! 

When mummy went to pick him up on Tuesday they had to shout for him four times to come to the door to meet mummy! He absolutely loves going to playgroup and I think it has done him the world of good! I only wish we had been able to do something like that for James at the same age! And when we walked up on Wednesday, well thank goodness mummy had sense to put Freddie's wellies on as he literally jumped in every puddle between our house and the school!

For Freddie's birthday we decided to invite Nana and Gaga to the house and have a small party with party food and cake! We decided to have a quiet day as next year he will actually be at school on his birthday and we will have probably had a party for his school friends on the weekend before!

Our photos for this week were actually taken on Freddie's birthday! Freddie absolutely adores his new scooter and he also got a car track which he loves to share with James

Living Arrows

Sunday 25 November 2018

Freddie at Three

Happy 3rd birthday our darling little bear!

I know I always say it does not seem five minutes since your last birthday but it really feels like this last year has flown by!

Your speech has come on so much this last year! Especially since you started playgroup back in January! Come this January you will get your free 15 hours so you will be spending more time away from mummy at playgroup with your little friends!

You are still wearing a size 4 pull up in the day and a size 6+ nappy at night. You have been wearing 3-4 clothing since the middle of the summer and you are definitely so much taller at 3 than James was! Next September you will start the nursery at James school which we are all excited for! 

You hate your bedroom so you are currently crashing in mummy and daddy's room while we start getting James bedroom ready for you to move in there with him. You always share a room at Nana and Gaga's house with James so we think it will do you good to share with him at home!

You had the best time when we went on holiday to Majorca! You loved the pool and the beach so much and well you had the best suntan out of the whole family even when you were wearing a factor 50 suntan lotion!

You were a little monkey on the flight over to Majorca when you wouldnt sit in your seat for landing but on the way home you actually fell asleep and slept through landing!

You definitely love your food and literally never stop eating when you are at home! Sadly we discovered you are intolerant to bananas which is a shame as you love them, you cry your eyes out when mummy says no to having them!

You are definitely our little monkey and you love to answer back when we ask you something! You and James are best friends and you love nothing more than driving mummy potty together.

We love you so much Freddie Bear 
All our love
Mummy Daddy and James xxx

Tuesday 20 November 2018

It All Starts In Childhood

It’s essential to consider how important it is for your child to begin nourishing their personality when young. Does this mean they should miss out on a childhood in order to focus on a huge range of hobbies and sports you’ve pushed them into? Absolutely not. Does this mean you need to micromanage and choose every single interest they curate? No way. Does it mean being present and allowing your child more options and paths to go down? Definitely.

There’s quite a defeatist joke which suggests ‘school is where you send your child to be raised by their peers.’ This is not true, but perhaps something you can smirk to upon hearing it. However, there is a truth that the content of someone’s personality is often dictated by large swathes of their childhood. For that reason, as a parent, it’s essential to consider:

A Great School

Your child needs to attend a great school. It might sound like the only way you can attend a great school is to pay for boarding, but that’s not always the case. A great school is one that cares about your child’s development, has a healthy approach to discipline, and has a history worth boasting about. It might be that a school with a distinct social setup such as the Leicester High School for Girls could be the perfect place for your daughter to attend, or that a school focused on a certain specialism, such as a strong musical background, can help your child develop their interests. Of course, sometimes a school is worth moving for. Remember, the school has a deep impact on how the child develops. You can probably trace certain aspects of your personality to the school you attended, and the interests you curated. Be sure to research diligently, and weigh up your options. A promising choice here can truly make all the difference in the end.

Learning By Osmosis

All children learn by osmosis. What does this mean? Well, interests you are passionate about will likely and largely become interests they also develop. Learning by osmosis isn’t hard to consider or picture. It simply takes the right attitude, the right mindset, and the right willingness to make things work. You need to show passion and include them if interested. If you’re a musician, allowing them to start lessons if they inquire, having family jam sessions, among simply encouraging them to play in a relatively hands-off sense can make all the difference towards their development and can grow an interest healthily.

Never Restricting

Never restrict that which they’re interested in. An interest is something like a plant bud slowly growing. It can turn into a strong tree if you’re careful and allow them the right exposure. Don’t reprimand them for liking something. Try to facilitate their interest as best you can. Even if you can’t quite afford a brand new guitar, there are always second-hand options available. This example can be given to so many different things, and over time could help your child become the person they were always meant to be.

With these simple tips, your son or daughter’s childhood is sure to foster their development well.

**This is a Collaborative post**

Monday 19 November 2018

Living Arrows 2018 47/53

This week has been a pretty normal one for us. Both boys have been at school and playgroup. 

James had his Beavers group on Thursday night and mummy was a parent helper again this week. This week we did about kitchen hygiene for the cooks badge! James had a brilliant time as normal! Starting Beavers has been a big boost to his confidence and he has really come out of his shell. James photo this week was taken when we went into town straight from school to go and see the Fenwick Christmas window. This year it's based on The Snowman. I love this photo of James even though he's not actually looking at the camera!

Freddie is so much better than he was last week and he is so happy to be back at playgroup! Seeing him bounce into the room with a smile on his face makes mummy so happy! We also got confirmation of what days he has from January once he has his 15 hours from turning three! Since we realised Freddie is intolerant to bananas along with dairy and soya, we have had no end of problems with him asking for bananas! This weeks photo was taken when he decided to have a tantrum with mummy when I said he could not have a banana before he went to playgroup!

It's so crazy how close it is to Freddie turning Three! Mummy has not been as organised this year and even though it is his birthday this coming weekend we are still buying cards wrapping paper and balloons!! Not forgetting his presents oops! 

Living Arrows

Thursday 15 November 2018

Siblings in November

Wow it's November already and we have almost completed a full year of the Siblings Project!

The photos for this month were taken over the half term holiday when we were staying with Nana and Gaga.

Mummy and Freddie arrived early on the Tuesday  morning, which happens to be bin day! As soon as the bin lorry arrived both boys were standing in the window watching it! They never moved till it was gone!

The Siblings Project - Dear Beautiful

Wednesday 14 November 2018

Living Arrows 2018 46/53

Welcome back to another week of Living Arrows hosted by Donna over at What The Redhead Said. If you are new to this then the name of the linky comes from the poem by Kahlil Gibran "You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth"

This last week has been such a crazy week as the boys were back to school after the half term holiday. 

Although poor Freddie had a chest infection so he ended up missing playgroup and being at home all week with mummy. By Friday he was feeling much better so mummy decided to walk Freddie to get James from school, Well on the way home, Freddie decided he had enough of walking the way mummy and James wanted to go so he decided to lie down on the floor!

James took part in his first remembrance sunday with Beavers and he looked so smart in his uniform! He had a brilliant time with his Beavers and really looks forward to going to his meetings on a Thursday night!

Living Arrows

Tuesday 13 November 2018

A New Bedroom For The Boys

We moved into our house just over three years ago when I was pregnant with Freddie. Originally when we put the offer in on the house we were originally going to use the small back box room as a office for me to do my blogging and also a room for Andy to put his computer. I would use the room during the day and then Andy would use it come evening for his gaming once James was in bed. But Freddie arriving put the kybosh on that!

Since Freddie tends to sleep in our room, but when he is at my parents house he shares a room with James. We have decided since James has a pretty big bedroom that we are going to install bunk beds in James current bedroom and move both boys in there together! We hope by doing this it will get Freddie out of our room and hopefully sleeping better!

One of the things I would love to change on the room would be the windows! Our house does have double glazing but the windows are very odd. They seem to be different on every room of the house! I would love to change all our windows to sash windows. By doing this all the windows on the front and back of our house would be identical. I also think it would be easier to put a opening restrictor on sashwindows to stop the windows opening too far, especially in what will become the boys bedroom!

So what are we planning on doing! This is the current shape and layout of the bedroom as it is! The longest wall is the one where the big window is. This is where we currently have James bed as the room has a built in wardrobe, I do not like the fact we have the bed across the window as the radiator is under the window and the bed actually blocks all the heat coming into the bedroom. And because of where the wardrobe is, it makes the room very dark, so if we want to go in and check on James at night we have to virtually go right into the room.

So the first thing we are going to do in the room is pull out the built in wardrobe and pull up the carpet. We are planning to lay laminate flooring as James is asthmatic and we know laminate will be so much easier to keep clean.

Where the wardrobe currently is there is actually a single plug socket on the wall, we are planning to get this changed to a double socket so we can have a wall mounted light on the wall as we are wanting to put the bunk beds we are going to get the boys on this wall! Where we currently have all James toys in the alcove which actually goes above the stairs we are going to turn this into the wardrobe area. We currently have all Freddie’s clothes in a two by four Kallax unit in his room. But once the boys move into the same room we will probably get another two by four Kallax unit or maybe get a four by four to store all their clothes in and maybe use the current two by for storing all the toys in.

We will also try and put a desk into the bedroom as well. As now James is getting older he needs somewhere he can go and do his homework after school away from his little brother who is quite happy to watch Cbeebies!

Watch this space for what we actually do to the room and how long it actually takes us!!

**Collaborative Post**

Friday 9 November 2018

A Mum's Guide To Guarding Against Unexpected Expense

Being a Mum has never been a cheap enterprise and it’s certainly never been easy. But in the hectic and increasingly costly 21st century, parents are under more financial pressure than ever before. Are you sitting down? Research carried out in 2016 by the Centre for Economics and Business Research estimated that the average cost of raising a child to the age of 21 in the UK is an eye-watering £231,843. Even for the most scrupulous of financial planners that’s a lot of expense even for households where both parents work. In the age of austerity it seems as though for many of us our wages are stagnating even as our living costs continue to climb beyond our grasp.

Image by PxHere

Resultantly, many families are left with no recourse but to borrow. But as the cost of living rises, meeting our commitments to our debts can become increasingly untenable and our credit ratings may suffer. This can make managing our carefully managed household finances tricky to manage at the best of times, but what happens when life throws us an unexpected curveball in the form of unexpected costs? When your car breaks down, your plumbing springs a leak or your roof tiles start to rain all over your drive the expense can throw your finances into disarray. But Mums are masters of triumphing over adversity! With a little bit of knowledge and foresight, even Mums with limited incomes and poor credit can insulate themselves against the ravages of unexpected expenses. Here’s how…

Don’t assume that bad credit means that you only have bad options

Shortly we’ll discuss the ways in which, even in these austerity ravaged times,
households can take control of their finances to create a cushion that acts as a buffer
able to do this and your credit score is less than stellar does not mean that you only
have options. For example, guarantor loans from a direct lender can spare you the
additional expense of brokers’ fees. Plus their loan calculator can help you to determine
exactly what your monthly repayments will be so that you can budget accordingly.
As long as you have a guarantor such as a parent, friend or relative who can vouch
for you, you need not leave yourself at the mercy of unscrupulous payday lenders.

Every household can (and should) save

Your family’s finances should be governed by a budget. Only when you budget
can you get a clear idea of what’s coming in and coming out of your bank account.
In fact, the very act of budgeting will help you to feel more in control of your finances
and better placed to stop up all the little leaks in your household finances. However,
one thing that your budget absolutely must account for is savings. You should have a
direct debit into your savings account every month to ensure that you always pay in.
You can absolutely reduce that amount as times are lean so long as you boost it back
up when times improve. A savings account is a great, risk free way to grow your money.
Here are some of this year’s best savings accounts.

Keeping your kids happy should not cost a fortune
We all know families who are perpetually skint, yet their children all have the latest
games consoles and their very own LED TVs to play them on. Or smartphones. Or iPads.
When did it become Holy writ that keeping your children happy had to be so expensive?
It’s virtually impossible to guard against unforeseen expenses if our scant disposable
income is dedicated to buying our kids ostentatious presents.

Instead, condition your kids to value experiences over things. Take them places,
show them sights or challenge them to express themselves creatively. They’ll be happier
adults for it!

Make your debt work for you!

How much of your household expense goes on repaying your debts? How many
different direct debits do you have coming out every month, each coming out at a
different time with a different interest rate? Left unchecked, these debts can devour
our finances and make saving impossible. Worse still, they can prevent us from getting
good credit when disaster strikes.

Consolidating your debts into a single monthly payment with just one rate of interest
is a great way to make it more manageable. It will even improve your credit score as
all of your existing debts will be repaid and replaced with a single new one.

When you’re well prepared, unexpected expense is just another challenge for a Mum
to stare down and overcome!

**This is a Collaborative Post**

Thursday 8 November 2018

Living Arrows 45/53

Last week was our half term holiday so James spent the whole week at his grandparents house, mummy and Freddie took the bus up to join them on Tuesday morning and we had a love time together!

At the end of the summer holidays a new play park was opened in the country park near where my parents live, so on Thursday afternoon mummy, nana, James and Freddie jumped into nana's car and went to check it out!

The boys had an absolute ball running around and burning off some energy! The only downside mummy found was the toddler swings were rather high and it was quite hard to lift Freddie into them!!

On Saturday daddy and James went to get their hair cut while mummy and Freddie headed into town. Daddy and James came to meet us so we could go buy James his trousers for Beaver's. We also managed to get James to choose a birthday present for Freddie and we also got James his advent calander! Mummy and Nana had picked up a moo free advent calander in Aldi on Friday.

Living Arrows

Tuesday 6 November 2018

Palma Aquarium

On our recent holiday to Alcudia, Majorca, We decided to take the boys on a day out to Palma Aquarium.

When we saw our reps on the Tuesday morning we got the leaflet for the trips that were running and found out that the aquarium trips ran on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Since it was Tuesday we opted to book the trip for the following day the Wednesday!

We chose this day as back home, James was actually missing a school trip to Blue Reef Aquarium at Tynemouth as part of his school question "What Mysteries Does The Sea Hold?"

We set our alarms on our phones to get us up early and downstairs for the restaurant opening at 8am as our pick up for the trip was at 0845 from the main road next to the hotel.

Once the coach arrived and we were on it, we realised that Freddie needed a new pull up which mummy was able to quickly change before the coach hit the road. Once we arrived in Palma we got the stroller off the coach and loaded Freddie into it and put the changing bag onto it. We then got our tickets from the rep on the coach and made our way round to the main entrance. 

We did have the choice to split the day and go into Palma for the afternoon which I do kind of wish we had done, But James wasn't interested. All he wanted to do was spend time watching the Sharks!

We started off with Freddie in his stroller but he couldn't really see much, so since he already had his reins on from when we were waiting for the coach we let him out to walk. 

The whole day was fantastic and the kids had an absolutely ball! The shark tank was literally the best shark tank I have ever seen at eight meters deep and some of the sharks were the same size as me at 5" 2. There was even some fish bigger than Freddie! 

This is not even half the photos taken! There was over 150 taken on my phone and no idea how many are still on my camera to go through!!

Would we visit Palma Aquarium again? Yes we would but I do think six hours was maybe far to long to spend in there!