Monday, 10 December 2018

Living Arrows 2018 50/53

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"

So James had his school fair last week which he had a brilliant time at! The same day we had an electrician out to install some new sockets in our lounge and kitchen so nana and gaga came to keep mummy and Freddie company and then nana came with mummy to the school fair and to collect James while gaga stayed at home with Freddie and the electrician. James also got to go and see Santa at the fair. This year was so much better he chatted away to Santa I think it helped that he recognised his voice as his deputy head! Last year he refused to go in and sent mummy and Freddie in his place. 

Freddie has had a brilliant week at playgroup! He is running in so happy, and normally when I pick him up they had to shout for him at least three times before he actually comes to the door! In fact a few times one of the staff has had to bring him to the door as he's too busy having fun! On Tuesday when mummy took him up he was such a little monkey running the whole way!

We finished the week by going to visit nana and gaga for the night as daddy had his works Christmas party and mummy didnt want to risk him waking up the boys when he came home in early hours of the morning! 

Living Arrows

Blogmas Day Ten

I did a post last year about strange things your kids had asked for for Christmas on the back of one Christmas when James was about two when he asked Santa very seriously for milk and yoghurt!

This year the post is all about things your kids call Christmas! For example Freddie is obsessed with calling crisps Christmas! He started it when we were in Majorca back in October, We had a tube of pringles in our hotel room and he kept yelling Christmas Christmas and pointing at them! Since we got home all crisps have become Christmas to him!

So I asked s couple of my fellow parent bloggers and these were the answers I got!

Emma from said "My son was born on Christmas Day so its not actually anybody elses Christmas according to him - he calls it my Christmas. He asks is it nearly my Christmas?" I found this so adorable!

Jessica from said "My daughter is 3 and calls it HoHo she can say Christmas but HoHo has stuck" That is so sweet. Freddie does know that Christmas is other things ie the tree and decorations but calling crisps Christmas has just stuck even when we try to correct him!

I hope by next year Freddie is calling not calling crisps Christmas as it is already getting very confusing in our house!!

Sunday, 9 December 2018

Blogmas Day Nine

This Christmas is a bit different for us as it is the first Christmas that Freddie has been totally dairy and soya free. So buying traditional chocolate coins and selection boxes has been quite hard!

The first thing we have brought for Freddie is a Moo Free Advent Calendar. 

Moo Free Chocolate is both Dairy and Soya free so this is perfect for Freddie so he is not left out when James has a chocolate calendar to open.

Moo Free chocolate is made in a factory that does NOT manufacture milk chocolate or any other milk, gluten or soya based products. For me this is fantastic as it means Freddie can enjoy chocolate treats over Christmas like James and he won't get a poorly tummy.

The next thing we have bought is also by Moo Free and it's a selection box. James always gets a chocolate selection box for christmas. So when I found a Moo Free one in our local Aldi I was thrilled that Freddie will not be left out this year!

We have also bought him some Moo Free mini chocolate Santas which you can also find in the selection box. 

You can find Moo Free Chocolate in Asda, Holland and Barrett, Sainsburys, Waitrose and many other independent shops around the country!

Saturday, 8 December 2018

Blogmas Day eight

Today's post is all about the end of term and what the boys have been up to at school and playgroup and also what is going to be happening in the last couple of weeks of term!

James has been very busy so far this December, He's had his school Christmas fair and preparations are well underway for the Key Stage One Nativity. 

We have also the Project outcome presentation for parents on what the kids have learned this term. Mummy had a really good time at the project outcome as the kids sung a sea shanty which James has been singing for weeks in the house! In fact he has sung it so much that Freddie knows some of it!

When it was the fair day, mummy got to pick James up at half past one so he could enjoy the fair with me and get an early finish from school!!

Freddie again has been doing lots of crafty things at playgroup, The playgroup decorated a community tree at one of the local churches last week that sadly we couldn't go to as it clashed with James school fair and there is a planned visit to Santa in a couple of weeks. Mummy is not sure yet if we are going to go to that as Freddie wasn't too keen on santa when we went to see him a few weeks ago! And finally the last day of term is party day for playgroup where Freddie will be given a time to go in even though it is not one of his normal days! Its strange to think hes only got a couple more weeks of just two sessions a week before he goes 15 hours a week from 7th January!

What Christmas activities have your children been up to at school?

Friday, 7 December 2018

Blogmas Day Seven

Welcome back to Blogmas - a blog post every day in the run up to Christmas! 

Today's post is a christmas gift guide for mums!

Gifts for a Girl

First up we have this gorgeous luxurious faux leather yellow and peach card holder by Alice Scott. This makes a super gift for young ladies and grown up girls (I’m including myself in this category) for Christmas. It features 2 card pockets and a middle slip ideal for receipts and cash.

This would be something that I would love to receive at Christmas as there are days when I am doing the school run with the boys and I don't want to take the changing bag with me, so I have to put my debit card or cash into my pocket. Then I have a bad habit of forgetting to put my card back into my main wallet! This can be found on Gifts for a Girl priced at £9.99

Gifts for a Girl
Next up we have this Handy Pocket Compact Mirror with Style. This is a stylish gift that will help you get prepared for the perfect selfie. As it’s pocket sized, it means you’ll be able to carry it with you at all times!

Again this would be something I would love to find in my Christmas stocking! There are times when you just need to have a mirror on you and then you find you dont have one! This would come in handy not just for mum but also for checking injuries on kids.James had a sore eye the other week and something like this would have helped me to check his eye a lot easier! You can find this on Gifts for a Girl priced at £5.00

Gifts for a Girl
For the mum who likes crafting we have this gorgeous 
Baby Penguins Felt Craft Kit. You can sew together a waddle of 3 cute penguins!

Three fun penguins felt kit, this box has everything you need to create a waddle (the collective noun for penguins on land) of penguins in a child’s bedroom or use as Christmas decorations. For children who are just beginners in sewing, this kit is ideal because it arrives with very clear instructions. A super gift for creative girls who love making beautiful things. I would love to try to make something like this but I think I would probably fail as I literally do not have the patients to sit and do crafting. This can be found on Gifts for a Girl priced at £14.40

Another gift I would love to unwrap this Christmas would be an Ada and Alfred Motherhoodie sweatshirt! I would love to have the storm grey version as I tend to wear mostly dark coloured hoodies as having two boys one being only three I tend to get covered in muck very easily! 

This hoody has some fantastic features such as a kangaroo pouch pocket and hidden earphone cord feed! I know when I get to listen to music the cord from my headphones does tend to get in the way! 

This is priced at £35.00 and is available from Ada and Alfred

So this is just a few things you could get the mum in your life this coming Christmas. 

Thursday, 6 December 2018

Keeping Calm And Teaching Your Kid to Drive

Sooner or later, your little one is going to grow up and be ready to sit in the driver’s seat.
While this is a frightening experience for all parents, you’re probably not too worried about
it if your kid is still much too young - but the day will come and you better be ready for it.

Image via: Pexels

If you would like to go through this rite of passage together with your teenager by teaching them how to drive, it’s a good idea to read up on all the do’s and don’ts first. That way, you will make sure that he or she gets the best possible teacher and your relationship will still be relatively intact afterwards.

Here are a couple of tips to help you become a better teacher when the time is ready so that both you and your teenager-to-be can look a bit more forward to those driving lessons.

First: Talk about the lessons

Just like they have it before any classes at school, your kid should know what to expect from these lessons with you. What are they going to learn, how long can they anticipate that each lesson will be, and where will you be driving?

By having a clear image of what they will be going through when learning how to drive, they will be a lot more prepared and ready to take on each lesson. Don’t just get into the car and expect them to catch up with everything you have to teach them; set a schedule, follow it, and both of you will get so much more out of the lessons.

If you’d like to get a car for your teenager as soon as they have their license, you might want to have a look at Vauxhall Cars, by the way; they have a variety of safe and reasonably priced cars that are perfect for young drivers.

Next: Help them to reach the right conclusions

While you, as a parent, might be used to telling them and asking them to do things, this isn’t really the right approach when trying to teach them something new. Their teachers will be following the same method, though, when they’re in school so your kid should be more than able to appreciate your teaching methods.

Say, when you’re noticing that they’re driving a bit too fast, you might want to ask them what the speed limit is rather than telling them to slow down. It’s such an easy trick and it will help your teenager to get used to thinking for themselves as they won’t always have you in the car to tell them how to drive.

Keep this in mind with everything you teach them and, sooner or later, they will be able to handle their own driving without being asked or told to do so.

Finally, it’s a good idea to keep the first couple of lessons as short as possible and increase the length steadily as they get more confident. It makes it a bit easier to end each lesson on good terms as well, by the way, and you’ll both look much more forward to the next lesson.

**This is a Collaborative Post**

Winter Woodland at Baltic

Now that December is here we are fully in the countdown to Christmas! We have already done our Santa visit and now we have been to Winter Woodland at Baltic Centre for Contemporary Arts!

Winter Woodland is a fun craft and song session on Saturday and Sundays running for the rest of December!

We were booked in for the 10am opening session on December the first! Once we got into the centre we made our way up to level two via the glass lifts. James was absolutely loving the view up the river from the lift! Once we got up we were greeted by some elves who told us all about how they sort all the Christmas cards and make sure they get to where they are going!

We were then invited over to the craft area to start making some Christmas decorations based on woodland animals! Freddie at this point had got very upset and scared by the people dressed up as elves that daddy tried to calm him down while mummy did some crafting with James who was really enthusiastic! Eventually Freddie came and sat on my knee and calmed right down when he found a glue stick and some googly eyes and he had fun with them!

James had such a good time making a fox and a robin and even an erm alien! Mummy made a fox with a bit of help from Freddie!

Once we had finished crafting it was time for some hot chocolate and marshmallows while
we helped to write a 12 days of christmas woodland animals song! There was also a room to the side which had bubble lights and plastic ice blocks and fake snowballs in! James loved this snow room and him and Freddie had so much fun launching snowballs at Daddy!

Tickets which are priced at £13 for one adult and one child are still available for these sessions which are running on December 8th,9th,15th,16th,22nd and 23rd! Baltic have very kindly offered readers a 20% discount using the code WINTER20. Tickets can be purchased here

We had such a good time and would highly recommend this for other families as a way of getting into the Christmas spirit!

**We were gifted our ticket in exchange for this review. All words are our own and Images were supplied by Baltic**

Blogmas Day Six

So it's the 6th of December and we have had Rhul and Elfis here for five days. I thought I would do a little update as to what they have been getting up to!

On Day One we got up to find them sat on the sofa complete with advent Calendars, scratch off behavior charts and a message board. The boys were thrilled to see them especially James! They also brought an elf surveillance camera and a note pad of elf reports which they will be using to report on the boys behaviour!

On Day Two we found them trying to make breakfast! Rhul was hanging off our frying pan and Elfis was leaning over a bowl of flour and sugar. They left a message on their board saying all we needed to do was add an egg and some milk and the boys could have pancakes!

On day Three we found the naughty little elves had climbed into our Christmas Tree and were just hanging around! Freddie never spotted them and it took James a few minutes to work out where they were!

On Day Four James and Freddie came downstairs to find that Rhul and Elfis were sat on our sofa with Kevin the Carrot doing a puzzle!

On Day Five the boys found a message on the elves white board in the kitchen saying that they were somewhere very cold! James throught straight away that they were hiding in our fridge as Rhul had hidden there last year! However once he looked they were not there, then he realised they could be in the freezer and there they were tucked up in a pair of mummys socks!

I will do another update on the elves and their antics on 11th December! 

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Blogmas Day Five

Having two boys only three years apart makes Christmas shopping quite difficult! Especially when the youngest has a birthday near Christmas as well! When we have been looking for gifts this year we have also been looking at things the boys can share or that we can get for Freddie and James can play along with him. 

First up we have this awesome power dough set from Canal Toys. This set is a bit like modeling clay but you can make the the creations light up and move thanks to battery power! We were sent the small unicorn set. 

The boys have loved playing with this. James was able to show Freddie what to do and Freddie loved seeing their creation come to life! This set retails at around £13.00 on Amazon and it is for ages three and up! This was a perfect activity for a quite weekend at home in the run up to Christmas. 

Next up we have a lovely floor puzzle from Crocodile Creek. This is the one all about the different seasons, but there are many different ones. While having a look online I found pirates and also unicorns!

 This is something that James would love and that Freddie would grow into as he is only just 3 and is only starting to take a small interest in puzzles. Crocodile Creek products can be bought online from Trotters

Prices start at £12.00

Now we have something a bit different - Jofli The Journey of Life Bear. The idea for Jofli came from a 1998 school project for Suzi O'Neill. Jofli was created to encourage families to have adventures and record them in a journal

Both my boys have their special bears or in Freddie's case a cow! CB who is James and Freddie's cow Moo literally go everywhere! 

When we were on holiday both CB and Moo came with us, while CB stayed in the hotel room during the day Freddie literally had Moo attached to the straps on his stroller! 
The idea of the Journal is a brilliant one! I really wish we had thought to write down some of the adventures of CB and Moo from Majorca! These are priced from £30.00 for a mini pack to £50.00 for the double pack. You can also buy extra journals and outfits etc. Jofli is available from

**This is a collaborative post**

Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Blogmas Day Four

Today's post is all about clothing I want to buy for the boys this Christmas and into the New Year. 

Geordie Genes
The first thing is these t-shirts from a local company called Geordie Genes. This year I definitely want to buy clothing from independent retailers 

 I have been looking at these for the boys for ages as I call them both a worky ticket. These are available from age two to age twelve. They can be bought in both black and white and are priced at £12.95.

They can be bought in a few local shops in Newcastle City Centre and also intu Metrocentre. 

Another independent retailer I love is Ada & Alfred and I have bought a few things from them already this year! 

For Freddie I have been looking at a few items. My favourite has got to be this t-shirt saying "Wild One"

 Freddie is definitely a wild one! His favourite word has got to be No and well he doesn't listen. 

He really does have a wild streak and letting him walk on the school run even on his reins normally ended up with him being picked up and carried while he screams his head off shouting "No mummy" These are priced from £12.00
I really like this sweatshirt for James. It is down as a Christmas top, But I think it is something James would actually wear all year round!

He has a lot of grey sweatshirts and its a colour that really looks good on him. 

These are priced from £20.00 and start at a size 3/4 and go upto a size 12/13.

Another place I have been looking at clothes for the boys is a local company called Longsands Clothing Co. Longsands have just opened a new clothing store in a shipping yard container outlet in Newcastle City Centre and it is fantastic! They have some gorgeous items for example I adore these chunky beany hats These are priced at £14.00 and can be bought either online or in one of their stores!

Another item I love for the boys is this Made in the North Hoody! I just think this is very apt as both boys were born in the North East whereas the rest of their dads side of the family is from the south. 

These are currently priced at £14.00 online and start at a size 3-4.

**We were not asked to write this post, These are just clothes I have seen online and would love to get this Christmas/New Year!**

Monday, 3 December 2018

Living Arrows 2018 49/53

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"

The boys are now on the countdown to Christmas! The diary is getting very full with Christmas events from School and Playgroup! 

James has his school fair later this week which he is very excited for! I think it's more the early finish from school at half past one he is looking forward to rather than the fair itself lol! Then they have Christmas Jumper Day and also a Christmas fun day!

Freddie has a trip to see Santa coming up and also a playgroup party! He is really enjoying himself at playgroup and we have had no tears when going in for a few weeks now! I expect that will all change come January when he is in every day except a Friday!

Mummy is going to miss having her little side kick around but he is going to have an absolutely brilliant time doing more sessions with his little friends! In fact two of his sessions will be with the little brother of one of James best friends and when those two are together you get total mayhem already!

Living Arrows

Blogmas Day Three

Today day three is all about what Freddie is getting for Christmas. Now Freddie is only 3 so he hasn't really asked for anything and it's up to mummy and daddy to decide what to get him.

The first thing we have got him is a pull along Ninky Nonk! Freddie is literally obsessed with In The Night Garden and adores the Ninky Nonk so he is going to have so much fun with this! He gets so excited when he see's the Ninky Nonk come on the show

We have a Finding Nemo book. We are starting to buy Freddie lots of books as now he is getting older we want to start reading more with him. 

We have also bought him a Upgrow Creative Kids Digital Camera. Freddie is always wanting to steal my camera off me and even worse he tries to steal his Gaga's camera so we thought we would get him his own kids one. 

We decided to go for this one as it has nice chunky handles for him to hold and it is also pretty robust! We still need to get him a memory card for it, but I think we will probably go and get that in the boxing day sales!!

We have also got him a few matchbox cars that he can play with on the car track he got for his birthday. There is also a threading game where he can thread thick strings through wooden shapes. This will help him with his fine motor skills and I also think James will quite enjoy playing with this as well!

He also has the heat buddy and wash mitt like James. 

Some of the other things we have looked at for him include a cuddly Mr Dinosaur from Peppa Pig, a Hey Duggee backpack and also a George Pig Backpack!

Sunday, 2 December 2018

Blogmas Day Two

Welcome back to Blogmas day two! Today I'm going to be talking about what James has asked for for Christmas.

The first thing James has asked for is Power Tracks from John Adams. We first saw this advertised back in the summer holidays and James actually asked for it for his birthday, back then we were not too sure about it but after looking into it a lot more I thought it was the perfect Christmas present for James! 

James loves the idea of laying the track out and then programming the robot to follow the track that he has set. There are 20 tracks to put together or you can design your own for the robot to follow! We have found this on Amazon for £24.99

Next on his list is Spirograph. Now this thrilled me as I used to have one when I was a child and I loved it! James has really started to get into drawing this last few months. I think this would be brilliant for him and could be something for him and mummy to do together. There are lots of different kits you can buy with prices starting at £9.99 for a travel set. I think this would be the one we would get for James to see if he really likes it

Then we have Kinetic Sand. James reviewed the Kinetic Rock set last year and loved it. He saw the Kinetic Sand kit in Tesco and literally cannot stop talking about it! 

He has also asked for a game called Foxy Pants that he has seen advertised. Something I think he just thinks the game looks fun, but does not realise there are actual rules to play the game right. 

Another thing he has asked for is another game called Crazy Claw. This is a bit like a claw machine where you can win things. I have no idea if James wants it because it looks fun or because it looks like the claw machines he saw on holiday. 

I think they would be a great game to help James improve his fine motor skill by holding the button down on the handle and to help his concentration on picking up the balls!

Now onto the things mummy and daddy have chosen for him. James loves the books by Tom Fletcher and Dougie Poynter titled The Dinosaur That Pooped A Princess. We already have The Dinosaur That Pooped The Past and The Dinosaur That Pooped The Bed, so for Christmas mummy has got him The Dinosaur That Pooped a Princess.  Mummy also picked up a Disney Incredibles 2 story book at Tesco.

James recently joined Beavers, and when he was invested Nana and Gaga bought him his sweatshirt, then mummy and daddy got him his trousers in time for Remembrance Sunday. So for Christmas he asked for his polo top and baseball cap! 

Then we have a cuddly heat buddy. And then there is also wash mitt. 

Saturday, 1 December 2018

#MyAquaphor Challenge

Winter is a horrible time not only weather wise, but skin wise! As a school run mum I'm out the house no matter what the weather is like early in the morning to drop off James and then back out again later to pick him up This is five days a week twice a day no matter what the weather is like!

I was asked to try out Aquaphor to see if it helped my skin in the cold north east weather! And boy do I love it! This tube sits on my bedside table so I always know where it is. 

This little tube of skin balm has changed my life so far this winter! It does the job of lots of different products! I tend to use it on my cheeks, my lips and my hands. They are the parts of my body that tend to get dry after being out in the wet and cold. 

I do try to wear gloves on the school run, but more often than not I end up having to take them off to open James school bag to check he has everything or to add things into it, especially when I pick him up as more often than not I end up having to send him back into his classroom to get things he has forgotten for example his glasses or water bottle!

I have also tried it on the dry skin that Freddie gets from his dairy intolerance and it has calmed it down so much and stopped him clawing at his neck!

This product has definitely improved my dry skin. Will I keep using it? YES!!

**This post is an entry for the BritMums #MyAquaphor Challenge, sponsored by Eucerin. Discover the benefits of Eucerin**

Blogmas Day One

So it's finally the first of December and this year I have decided to try and take part in Blogmas! Blogmas is a post everyday in the run up to christmas with the last post going live on christmas day! 

This is how the boys were surprised this morning - the First of December!

First we have their Christmas Elf Rhul! We introduced him last year and it was fantastic to see how knowing an Elf was reporting to Santa made James behave! This year Rhul has brought a friend with him called Elfis. Mummy thought it was a good idea to get a second elf as Freddie is getting older!

Rhul and Elfis brought the boys their advent calendars and their scratch off behaviour charts! They also brought a message board where they can leave messages for the boys! As well as the message board they also brought an Elf surveillance camera and a notepad of Elf reports so they can let the boys know how they are behaving!

For their Advent calendars, James has a Kinder chocolate one as he is literally obsessed with anything Kinder Related. Since last Christmas we have found out Freddie is dairy and soya intolerant so we had to hunt around and we found out that Moo Free chocolate is both dairy and soya free so we knew this was the perfect choice for him! Freddie has tried the Moo Free chocolate before so we know he likes it!!

I'm looking forward to seeing how the Elves behave this next few weeks! Last year Rhul was a naughty elf and we found him doing all sorts of silly things!

Our Elves arrival has been quite boring compared to some. I mean you can actually get balloons with the elves inside! I think in a few years we could try something like that but for now I think the boys are happy for them to be sat on the sofa!