A Yorkshire getaway at Brompton Lakes Luxury Lodges // Review

The lakeside lodges at Brompton Lakes

At the beginning of December I was invited by Holiday at Home to spend a weekend in North Yorkshire at Brompton Lakes, a collection of luxury self-catering eco-lodges two miles outside Richmond. As a busy mum of two I don’t get to spend a huge amount of time without the responsibility of parenthood so the prospect of two nights away with friends was very exciting. Read more

Little Dragons Cafe on PS4 // Review

Little Dragons Cafe on PS4 and Nintendo Switch

My husband is a big fan of video games. He loves playing video games, he loves making video games and, luckily for me, he loves writing about video games! So when I was at BlogOn last weekend I met the lovely people from Rising Star Games. I was given the chance to get my hands on a copy of a new game, Little Dragons Cafe, I knew just where to turn for my review. It’s really a game aimed at children though so Barry roped in a couple of little helpers to see what they thought too… Read more

Capturing memories with Cheerz // Win £25 to spend on photo products

Photobooks, prints and posters from Cheerz

One of my favourite things to do when I was younger was to get the big photo albums down from the shelf in my mum and dad’s spare room and look through all the old pictures from when I was little. Of course as a child born in the 70s there aren’t that many photos from my childhood and each album would probably cover a few years. Things are very different now and since the boys were born I have taken literally tens of thousands of my pictures but they are nearly all on my computer and hardly ever get looked at.  Read more

Learning to scoot with the SmarTrike T1 Scooter

Just a boy and his SmarTrike Scooter

At three and a half Toby has had his fair share of wheeled transport. We got him a SmarTrike 4 in 1 trike for his first birthday, a sit on scooter for his second birthday, a balance bike for his third birthday… If I’m honest the second two haven’t seen much use – although Toby was full of enthusiasm he never really lasted more than ten minutes before he got fed up. I’ve seen lots of other kids his age who seem to be pros on a scooter so when we were given the chance to try the T1 scooter from SmarTrike I thought it would be a great opportunity for him to give it a try.

Just a boy and his SmarTrike Scooter

The added bonus of the T1 scooter is that is actually suitable from 15 months. With the addition of seat and adjustable handlebars it can be used as a ride on for younger children before removing the seat for scooting when your child is bigger. The scooter has two front wheels making it very stable for beginners too. Read more

Review: Peppa Pig wooden toys from Milly & Flynn

I have a confession to make  – I have never seen an episode of Peppa Pig, and neither have my kids. Not in my presence anyway, but at about 20 months Toby did start calling all pigs Peppa so I’m guessing she might have made an appearance at nursery somewhere along the line. Anyway, when I was asked if we would like to review some Peppa Pig wooden toys from Milly & Flynn my initial reaction was to say no. But then I had a look at the range and realised they were just some really nice wooden toys that happened to have Peppa Pig on them and there was really no reason for the boys not to play with them.

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Milly & Flynn have a variety of different Peppa Pig toys; we were sent the Magnetic Play Set (RRP £12), the Peppa Pig Push-Along (RRP £15) and the Skittles Set (RRP £20). My theory was that Toby and Gabe would both be able to play with the skittles, the magnetic play set would be great for Toby and newly-walking Gabe would enjoy the push-along. Of course things don’t always work out the way you plan!

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We set up the skittles but I think Toby managed one shot before Gabe decided it was much more fun to knock them over himself.

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He then carried them off to the other side of the room and that was the end of that game! Gabe has had a lot of fun with the skittles though. He likes banging them together, or practising standing them up – which is trickier than it sounds when you’re only 15 months old.

gabe-really-loves-the-peppa-pig-skittles

The Magnetic Play Set is fab for Toby. He’s only just started to make up stories when he’s playing, and this double sided board with lots of pieces really helps him use his imagination. Here he was telling me a story about the purple dinosaur who was playing football in the park.

toby-telling-a-story-with-the-peppa-pig-magnetic-play-set

There are plenty of magnetic pieces to put on the board – enough that Toby and Gabe even managed to play together for a little bit without arguing!

toby-and-gabe-almost-playing-together-with-the-peppa-pig-magnetic-play-set

The last item we were sent was the Peppa Pig Push-Along. Gabe has only just started walking, so walking and pushing is a skill he is still working on but he definitely enjoys it and the push-along is just the right size for him.gabe-figuring-out-the-peppa-pig-push-along

All the wooden toys that we have been trying out are lovely – they are really well made, and sturdy enough to cope with my not so gentle boys playing with them. There are more wooden toys available from Milly & Flynn – in the Peppa Pig range and they also have a Dear Zoo range.

I’m sure we’ll get plenty of use out of our new Peppa Pig toys for months, and even years to come. And you never know, one of these days Gabe might even let us have a proper game of skittles!!

 

**Disclosure: I was sent the featured products in return for this review. All opinions are my own.

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Review: Milly & Flynn books

Toby loves books and we have loads but there are always room for some more on our shelves so we were very happy to receive some new ones from new pre-school retailer Milly & Flynn.

milly & flynn books

We were sent four books from their range; Bigger and Bigger Wheels; My Astronaut Adventure; Little Sliders Shapes and Flippety Flaps In the Garden.

I loved how all the books have something a bit different about them. Toby loved peeking through the holes in My Astronaut Adventure and sliding the tabs in the Shapes book.

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The Flippety Flaps book is a perfect size for Gabe’s little hands and is robust enough to withstand his sometimes less than gentle play!

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Both boys love the Bigger and Bigger Wheels book – Toby really enjoyed the story and looking at all the pictures. I think Gabe mostly just enjoyed the different sized pages but at that age anything that is easy for them to handle and turn the pages is great.

bigger-bigger-bigger-wheels

There are lots of different titles available from the same ranges as the ones we received, as well as lots of others. Milly & Flynn also sell a range of toys and games – I’ve got my eye on some of the jigsaws for Toby for Christmas!

**Disclosure: I was sent the featured products in return for this review. All opinions are my own.

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Review: Piccolo baby food pouches

Gabe’s weaning journey so far has been quite up and down. Anytime he’s ill or teething he seems to go off his food but I can usually tempt him with a puree pouch when he doesn’t want anything else. So when the lovely people at Piccolo got in touch to ask if we wanted to try some of their new baby food pouches we were happy to give them a try.

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Piccolo products are produced with the idea of Mediterranean Goodness at heart. The flavours of the pouches reflect that too, for example; apple and apricot with a pinch of cinnamon, peach and apple with a hint of basil, spring greens with a hint of mint or squash, red pepper and chickpea with a hint of rosemary to name a few.

Gabe was certainly keen to get his hands on the pouches when they first arrived!

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Gabe is at an age now where he can suck straight from the pouch which is really handy, especially when we’re out and about. It’s hard to tell really but he does seem to like most of the Piccolo pouches. The only thing I will say is that these pouches are quite runny compared to some of the other brands we use. I think this took Gabe by surprise a bit when he first tried them because he managed to squeeze it all over himself!

gabe-enjoyed-trying-the-piccolo-squash-red-pepper-and-chickpea-pouch

To be honest Gabe is a little bit past the puree stage but these Piccolo pouches have been great for adding to Weetabix and porridge and we found a great use for them with Toby.

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One pouch is the perfect amount to fill our ice lolly mould. Toby loves them and thinks he’s getting a big treat and I’m happy knowing everything he’s eating is good for him!

piccolo-ice-lollies-ready-for-the-freezer

At the moment Piccolo only produce Stage 1 baby food pouches but they are always developing new products. They are releasing some new flavours soon too which we were also sent to try; mango, pear & kale with a dash of yogurt; banana, strawberry & peach with a hint of mint; sweet potato, beetroot, apple & pear and raspberry & apple with soaked oats. Some of the flavours may seem a bit out there to us as adults but Gabe seems to like them!

Piccolo pouches are currently available from Amazon, Ocado, Booths, Waitrose and a few other retailers. You can find out where to buy them near you on the Piccolo website here.

 

**Disclosure: I was sent the featured products in return for this review. All opinions are my own.

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