Our Weekly Roundup #25

  • This week we went to see Disney on Ice presents Frozen at the MEN arena in Manchester. The girls – and I – loved it. They both dressed as Anna to watch the story of Frozen told through ice skating. There was snow, pyrotechnics, Sven on skates and a moving sled – and even a giant inflatable snow monster! It was a great show and kept Clara’s attention throughout with the popular characters and familiar songs.img_20161016_124852img_20161016_125116
  • Izzy had her first swimming lesson in the deep end of the pool and did amazingly! I have to say I was quite apprehensive and she was scared she was going to “drunk” (I think she meant drown/sink!) but she tried really hard and did really well.
  • Clara had her 2 year check up with the nurse. Of course she wouldn’t actually speak to the nurse, making me out to be a liar as I’d written on the questionnaire how well she can talk! She’s just under average height for her age, but on the 91 percentile for weight, the chunky monkey. Izzy is the opposite, tall and slim!img_20161015_111519

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Little Passports Review #4: Art

For the past few months, Izzy has been receiving the Little Passports Early Explorers subscription to review. Each month she receives a package from America which encourages children to learn about the world. Each one is themed, and the latest to arrive was all about Art.

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Little Passports is a monthly subscription package which delivers adventure right to your door. Over the next few months we will be trying out the Early Explorers subscription, for children aged 3-5, which we have kindly been gifted in return for an honest review.

We are also taking part in the Little Passports Affiliate programme, so if you click on any of the links in this post or on the advert on the sidebar, and go on to purchase a subscription, we will receive a small commission.

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Each pack includes an activity passport, luggage tag, trading cards, stickers, a flash light adventure and a postcard all around the same theme. In addition, they each include a different souvenir or toy. This month’s pack included a canvas with paints which Izzy enjoyed making into her very own work of art.

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Izzy really enjoys getting a parcel through the post and seeing what surprised are included. I like to use it as an opportunity to talk to her about our own experiences and show her photos of places we have visited. The art mentioned included the Mona Lisa and Russian Dolls – so I talked to her about how I saw the famous painting in Paris and showed her a set of Russian dolls that I brought back from Prague. She loves seeing what souvenirs are included and completing the activities in the passport.

Little Passports offer 3 different packages – the Early Explorers for children aged 3-5, World Edition for 6-12 year olds and the USA Edition. Find out more here: Give the gift of Adventure!

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Christmas Gift Ideas for Star Wars Fans

Welcome to the first in a series of Christmas Gift Guides! With a house full of Star Wars fans, this first guide is a roundup of the best gifts for fans of the fantasy movie series.

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*This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. This means that if you click on any of the Amazon links in this post and go on to make a purchase, I will make a small amount of commission. This will in no way affect your purchases. 

1. Set of Seven Star Wars Movie Posters

Incorporate your love of Star Wars into your decor with this set of posters, one for each of the seven movies. Printed on A2, A3 or A4 paper, these posters come unframed. (Etsy, from £45)il_570xn-898007014_i1hl

2. Storm Trooper Alarm Clock

Wake up ready to take on the Galaxy with this Lego Storm Trooper alarm clock – also available as Darth Vader, Boba Fett, Darth Maul and Yoda. (Amazon, £19.99)

3. Cookie Cutters

Mastering the skills of the Jedi is hungry work, so make up a batch of Star Wars themed cookies – perfect for party treats! (Amazon, £2.79)4. Star Wars Crochet Kit 

This set has everything you need to crochet your very own Jabba, Wookie or a range of other Star Wars characters. (Amazon, £12.99)

5. Star Wars Lego Buildables

Build your own action figure out of Lego – collect all the main characters to recreate scenes from the films. (Amazon, from £11.99)6. Star Wars Yoda Itty Bitty

These adorable soft toys from Hallmark come in all different characters – perfect to collect. My favourite is this teeny Yoda! (Amazon, £6.99)
7. The Complete Star Wars Episodes 1-6 DVD

Catch up on the first 6 films with this DVD box set. (Amazon, £49.99)


8. Metal Earth AT-AT Model

This miniature kit from Metal Earth comes flat packed, ready to be built into a 3D model. (Amazon, from £8.35)

9. Star Wars Monopoly Game

Play as your favourite Star Wars character to trade planets and bases in order to take over the universe, in this themed version of the popular Monopoly board game. (Amazon, £19.97)10. Sphero BB-8 App Enabled Droid

Guide BB-8 around using a smartphone or tablet, and record and view your own virtual holographic videos. (Amazon, £104.99)

11. Death Star Ice Cube Mould 

This silicone mould can be used to create Death Star ice cubes, chocolates and even cakes. (Amazon, from £1.43)

12. Princess Leia and Han Solo Framed Lego Print 

Show someone you love them with this famous movie quote complete with Leia and Han Solo Lego minifigures. (Etsy, £15)

Have you got any Star Wars themed gifts you would add to this list? Let me know in the comments below. 

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Our Weekly Roundup #24

  • This week I went along to my first ever event as a blogger; it was the launch of the Booths Christmas range at one of their Cumbrian stores. I was really nervous as I didn’t know what to expect and I was completely out of my comfort zone, but it was really interesting and I hope it’s the first of many. I met fellow blogger Steph from Mental Parentals, and even though we’d never met before I still felt like she was a familiar face just from reading her blog!img_20161004_185820
  • Izzy had her last swimming lesson in Stage 4, although it was brought to an abrupt end due to poo in the pool! We didn’t know what had happened at first, as all the kids were just told to get out and line up at the side of the pool, but then Izzy – in her usual subtle way – started miming to us and doing actions of someone having a poo. It was like a slightly disturbing game of charades.
  • I can’t believe she will be in Stage 5 next week, which means she will be swimming in the deep end. She’s a bit nervous but she’s also really proud of herself; she’s been working really hard at swimming lately. I’m probably more nervous, given that her first lesson in the big pool resulted in her instructor having to jump in fully clothed to stop her drowning. Luckily she wasn’t traumatized and we can laugh about it now!2016-10-11-08-43-18
  • Winter preparations are in full swing, and both girls got new coats, hats and gloves when we went shopping last week. Since then, typically, the weather has been unseasonably warm but they have still insisted on wearing their new coats anyway. img_20161003_071620
  • Izzy had a sleepover at my friend’s house. She had loads of fun making pizza, feeding the ducks and playing with the new budgie. Clara was a bit confused though and in the morning said “Izzy gone… We lost her.” She was excited to see her when we went to pick her up,  but even more excited to see the budgie and even stroked his belly, which I was really surprised about given how she usually holds back and is quite cautious. She was so proud of herself though.2016-10-10-22-48-18
  • It’s new hair week for me! I got rid of the blonde that was drying out my hair and went back to dark brown but with some purple highlights running through it. It feels much healthier already. It’s amazing how new hair can instantly make you feel better!img_20161008_161619

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The Great Northern Christmas with Booths

There a lot of things I love about Christmas, but one of the best things about the festive season is gathering everyone around the table for a full roast dinner with all the trimmings.

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As part of a big family, Christmas dinners were always a hectic affair with everyone crowded around the table on mismatched chairs. That’s part of the fun, and spending time with family is what Christmas is all about. In recent years we’ve hosted Christmas at our own home; sometimes just us and the kids, sometimes with our families. Given the space (and a big enough table) I’d happily have a house full for the festive feast. Of course, it might be a different story if I was the one cooking, but luckily my Husband takes care of that!

This week I was invited to the launch of the Booths Christmas range at their Penrith store. It was a chance to try out some of the fabulous food and drink which Booths have sourced from across the North of England, including from local Cumbrian suppliers.

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The Herdwick Lamb Hotpot was delicious, as were the quiches provided by Yorkshire producer Truefoods. My favourite taster of the day had to be the Orange Chocolate Brownie Bites, which are made by local bakers Bells of Lazonby. I took a pack to work the next day to share out and they went down well – they wouldn’t have lasted long in my house!

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Unfortunately I was driving so I wasn’t able to sample the amazing selection of alcohol on offer, including whisky from the Lakes Distillery and a range of northern gins. I really wanted to try the Booths Prosecco though so I’ll have to add a bottle of that to my shopping list!

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The Great Northern Christmas Book is out now and includes the full range of culinary delights and festive tipples – whether you are looking to buy a turkey with all the trimmings, a selection of party food, stock up the bar or even buy some Christmas gifts. Personally I’ve got my eye on one of the amazing looking desserts, maybe the Peanut Butter Millionaire one or the Chocolate and Orange Cheesecake (Okay, maybe both!) while my other half has been longingly checking out the range of roast meats and the cheese boards.

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Booths have 28 stores across the north of England but deliver to the rest of the UK. You can check out their full festive range online at www.booths.co.uk.

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