Alice in Wonderland Home Made Boys Costume

So I returned from holiday in the early hours of this morning and had a great time in Gran Canaria.

More on that later but more importantly (for Zachy) he had a birthday party to go to. Upon checking Facebook I realised it was an Alice in Wonderland fancy dress theme! I had been so pleased with myself that I had actually sorted a present for the beautiful birthday girl before holiday that I then ran around like a headless chicken looking through fancy dress boxes, checking to see if any fancy dress shops in the area were open and when I eventually calmed down googled the characters in the film.

Having already rooted through the dressing up box I knew what I had on offer and once the King of Hearts popped up on my screen I was on a roll ๐Ÿ˜‰

So the next time your little boy needs an alice in wonderland dress up – here it is ๐Ÿ™‚

Use a captain hook or equivalent red pirate top then cut 2 pieces of (ideally) red card out in the shape of a heart, (we had to use pink and paint it red) and attach to a wooden spoon, blue peter styly with sticky tape:

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Get two pieces of yellow card and staple together, measure around the top of said little boys head and staple again, cut out a pointy top to make a crown.

Grab your eyeliner and draw on a twirly moustache and wallah:

King Of Hearts Boys Costume

One King Of Hearts ๐Ÿ™‚

Phew!!

Wedding Countdown; Outfits and Duties!

My cousins wedding is next week and Z has the super important job of being a page boy.

He is very excited and cant wait to put on his special suit with his cousin. I’m filled with nerves and hope that he will do what he has to throughout the day, so we have been having regular chats for the last 3 months about his duties of walking down the aisle in front of Steph and making sure he poses nicely for pictures when he is needed!

One huge relief is knowing that his outfit is taken care of unlike the rest of the family! Little miss Flo I think is just about sorted, that hasn’t been any easy process, although she isn’t an offical flower girl I do want her to look beautiful and fit in next to her cousins for pics so she may as well be! A dress was purchased, discarded due to being too small, two further dresses ordered which had to be returned only for us to go back to the original dress as it now she seems to of lost some weight with her walking and running around – phew! This is her dress for the day which was a bargain at only ยฃ15 from a local seller who was having a liquidation sale last year.

dress

I have accessorised her dress with some gorgeous sparkly shoes from Next which are just too gorgeous!

shoes

I’ve been looking for some gorgeous hair bands in silver but still haven’t found any so she may just end up with silver bobbles instead!

I’ve managed to acquire a lovely dress from TK Maxx and think I may be able to squeeze into some kitten heels without it being too much agony on my toe! I will be taking my gorgeous dressy sandals that have been my lifesaver since the arrival of better weather and wanting to have some kind of heel that didn’t kill my broken toe.

nexxt shoes

Now it’s just a matter of getting nails done, eyebrows threaded, self tan applied and the trip up to Leeds next Thursday. Keep your fingers crossed that the weather gods are kind to us!

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A Day Out with Thomas

Always looking for ideas of kids days out?

Recently we visited Thomas, yes, the one and only, Tank Engine.

There was a lot of anticipation of the big event so we were up and out early doors. We attended the event at Kirklees Light Railway in Yorkshire as we were visiting family in the area at the time and were very lucky they had discovered it was on the same weekend.

Activities

On arrival there was lots going on:

Platform rides on your favorites including Mavis, Toby the Tram and Thomas

(a quick back and forth out of the platform and back again).

t3

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Platform Ride - TObyt1

Face Painting in an old train carriage

Face Painting

Donkey Riding

Donkey Rides

plus a bouncy castle and activity centres that offered the chance for children to colour in pictures and make crafts!

The staff were in Thomas uniforms and the Fat Controller was striding around looking stern (which he was – but that’s another story!)

7The main ride runs from Kirklees to Shelby around a 15-20 minute journey. Our train was actually pulled by Douglas rather than Thomas which was a little bit of a disappointment for ย our eldest but seen as Thomas was doing a platform ride it was ok and meltdown was narrowly avoided!

Additionally, a note to take heed of, ย we went to a ‘light railway’ so the trains and carriages were on the miniature side, this isnt made overly clear on the website although it does mention it.

Their promotional video shows a normal size carriage so make sure you choose the relevant venue if this is the option you would prefer.

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Overall

Zachy enjoyed the day and even his little sister now plays with his trains and picks up his books to read so I would say overall it was a success. Honestly for the cost of the ticket, a lot was included as all the above was at no extra cost and you could easily make it a whole day out with everything on offer.

Each venue offers different activities and different prices so check out their website for more info:ย http://www.dayoutwiththomas.co.uk/

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Family Fever
toddlerapprovedtuesday

My big boys 1st Valentine

So I explained what Valentines Day was to my eldest today (he is 4) I told him it’s all about telling special people in your life that you love them. Even though you love them all the time it just reminds you to make them feel special and do something nice for them and more importantly to tell them that you love them.

He instantly decided he HAD to send his friend Rosie a card and make her some cake. *Bless!

So initially we decided we would make a card but once we were in the high street and whilst Mummy was choosing Daddies card he saw a lush little card with a big sunshine and a diamond heart which said you brighten up my world whenever I see you. Pretty apt for Z and Rosie ย as they have known each other ever since Z was born and he is always SUPER excited to see her.

Next we made some shortbread because we could cut it in to heart shapes:

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Then we had to make some cakes as he needed one in a ‘princess case’ :

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This is what they turned out like: (with some dodgy decorating from me!)

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Then he wrote out his card very carefully and drew a pic on the envelope.

Luckily I had some little gift bags which are ideal for cakes and sweets so we packaged a cake and a biscuit in there:

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This is the finished article. My big boys 1st Valentine ๐Ÿ™‚

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Honestly my heart is bursting!!

Hope you all have a lovely Valentines ๐Ÿ™‚

xXx

Guilty. Why are we always guilty?

I’ve been so quiet on my blog recently….

Let me explain. (without trying to whinge!)

The last 2 weeks have been a tough one. My childcare regime has been turned upside down and we now don’t have a nanny anymore, (it was a share – I’m not that posh/rich! Lol) when she was here it meant I could leave the house at 8am on my workdays with the kids in any state (dressed/undressed, eaten/not eaten etc) This changed for one reason or another and now Mon – Wed are manic!

Our routine now consists of getting up, dressed and out by 7.30, dropping off my eldest at a friends and my youngest at nursery. Is she cross or is she cross?! Crumbs the last 2 weeks have been emosh, to come and find your 16 month clinging to the baby gate looking super sad sticks in your mind and you start wondering if you’re a bad mummy.

You try and rationalise with yourself, lots of parents leave their kids, YOU left your eldest kid when he was even younger than her but it still hurts and still leaves you feeling down. Why is being a parent so guilt tripy all the time?!

So my real question here is WHY do we always feel so guilty?!

We feel guilty for not spending time with our kids

We feel guilty for only allowing our kids to spend time with us!

We feel guilty for not taking them to groups

We feel guilty for side lining them coz of their siblings

We feel guilty for going to work

We feel guilty for not being crafty enough

We feel guilty for not doing more baking

Are we put in to this mentality from day one?

Guilty for not breast feeding long enough (if at all)

Guilty for not bonding quick enough

Guilty for finding it hard?!

It seems we are doomed from the start on a never ending cycle of not being good enough. Not being a super mum.

Well peeps. It’s stops here!

You are great, you are the best and you are doing the best you can do with the funds and time you have.

I feel bad this week for putting my baby in nursery but I know she will be super sociable for being there and that will give her a good footing for the future, on the flip side if your little ones are at home they are receiving fantastical time with their mummy or daddy and that will also give them fantastical qualities for their independant lives. Ultimately we all do the best we can with what we are given, so let’s stop feeling guilty all the time and just enjoy them! Coz before we know it they’ll be our age asking themselves the same questions.

xXx

Family Time

Last week was a lovely one ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m still filled with warm and fuzzy feelings. I had my best friends birthday, a day trip out just with Mummy, my favourite Auntie and Uncle came to stay from Friday to Sunday, it was my Dad’s birthday on Saturday and we got to see my brother and his wife and my gorgeous niece and nephew.

Family, family family.

To start at the beginning….

Thursday:

Gorgeous turkish dinner at Havet in Bromley. This is amazing, I’ve blogged about it before here, Turkish-conkers-keith-lemmon, albeit a snippet. It didn’t let me down and we ended up across the road at The Barrell and Horn also detailed in the above post. – Not that I’m a creature of habit or anything?!

Friday:

Mummy and me went to The France Show at Olympia. This was a show with all things France. Admittedly I got jealous on Level 2 at all the lovely french properties for sale but Level 1 had lots of delights such as duck confit baguettes, crepes, sausages, cheese and one of my favourite bakers from Ropewalk in Bermonsey – Comptoir Gourmand which is a fast-growing traditional French patisserie company who had lots of tasty treats including these gorgeous meringue.

merangue

I also picked up an amazing mixer/soft drink named Pimento. A ginger, chilli tonic which I have become quite addicted to with Gin and even on it’s own ๐Ÿ™‚

pimento

Saturday:

We went for a good run around at High Elms which is a lovely parkland and wood estate near mums, they have an eco visitors lodge where the kids made a collage picture whilst we looked at the history of the estate. Once we’d spent some energy we went on our trip to Frankie & Benny’s. Now I’m not one to moan (ok I did but…!) these chains aren’t really my thing to be honest but with 4 children in tow and majority rules this is where we went.

Overall it was OK. From a Tried & Tested and Toddler Approved side of things I would say all the kids had a great time so I won’t whine on. They had a kiddies pack to complete, their own menu with plenty to choose from including pizzas, pastas and burgers, this included a drink and desert and lots of balloons. The waiter did really well considering there were 13 of us!

The evening saw us all vegging after a manic day and watching Hot Tub Time Machine, hilarious very easy watching film starring John Cusack. If you haven’t seen it then do.

Happy Days!

Family Fever
Toddler Approved Tuesday

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Tinyfootsteps

Delights Week 1

I’ve decided to try and write a series of posts entitled Delights. My lovely Blog colleagues, Katy & Jenna run a linky called Happy Days which I try to link up with of a similar ilk seen as there are many things that are a struggle week on week its important to make note of the good things. I have great intentions to link this up religiously so here goes ๐Ÿ™‚

So what delights have we had this week?

Food

After two fast days this week on Monday & Wednesday there had to be a treat on Thursday. (Weigh in post coming soon) And no before you ask it doesn’t mean all my hard work was for nothing as the benefits of the fasting fat burn has already been done ๐Ÿ™‚ I took my inspiration from a favourite M&S food to go option I like to have which is pulled pork bun. I bought some freshly baked Ciabatta and added pulled pork, Creamy coleslaw and pickles, hummmmmmmmmmmm…

Pulled pork sandwich

Friends

This week I have managed to see 3 of my besties – you may of seen one of them on our abs & squats video post after a couple of vinos. Very funny! I also got to go to another friends baby shower yesterday which was beautifully done, you can see the pictures on my Instagram.

Family

My eldest was super brave this week when he had to have his blister popped on his hand by the nurse as he had got an infection. Not really a delight but I was so proud of him. He was inconsolable initially but has taken his medicine religiously with no battles and had his second skin dressing changed daily with no upsets.

hand

Today we are spending the day at home playing games and having a sit down family roast dinner. Love these days ๐Ÿ™‚

What Katy Said

Please can I have some more sleep??

So my 4 year old has had a clock in his bedroom for a while now. I decided to get one when he started getting up at 5.30 am because he didn’t know if it was morning or not. It was a basic design and basically the light went out when he could get up. Needless to say it devoured batteries and if you didn’t click it back on when we tucked him in then it wouldn’t be on and we would be awakened again at 5.30. Not the ideal solution.

With all this going on I looked at different options and found the Gro Clock. Made by the ‘Gro’ company of which a lot of you will of heard of with their sleep bag range and portable black out blinds, I knew it would be a quality bit of kit.
The premise is if the suns on the dial you can get up and if its stars it’s still night time. Throughout the night the small stars tick down around the big star which you could explain to your LO if you wanted to.
It comes with a fab story book about a lazy pig who doesn’t sleep which is perfect in explaining why its important to sleep and the concept of getting up once the sun is on the dial.

The best bits for me?

  • It plugs in!! No need for hundreds of batteries!
  • It’s a fun way to explain night time.
  • It’s bright enough to be used as a night-light.
  • I get more sleep time!!

See the Gro clock and the rest of the range from the Gro company here: http://www.gro-store.com/essentials/gro-clock.html

groclock

nb: I was sent this product to review but all opinions are truthful and my own.

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#ToddlerApprovedTuesday

The countdown begins…

Well here it is. Christmas is coming! Now its nice and cold and I have my woolly scarf on I’m well and truly on the run down to Christmas ๐Ÿ™‚

Certain traditions have to be followed in our house – some I like and others I don’t!
1) Christmas Presents. These have to be found! ย Under the stairs, in the loft, back of wardrobes and even stashed at Grandmas and once again surprise yourself with the amount of stuff you’ve actually managed to squirrel away over the year and realise you have completely overdone it with tut!

2) Christmas cakes for everyone who asks! I have in total completed 3 and have the next lot of fruit steeping as we speak. This is my Christmas Cake Recipe for you.

3) Christmas Tree. We aren’t allowed (!!!) to put this up until 12 days before xmas, insisted by my other half, although I usually manage to wangle a bit longer due to how the weekends fall. I’m hoping for the 7th December this year but it may still be the 14th – boo ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

4) Xmas PJ’s. Purchased to be worn on Xmas Eve. These are Flo’s and I have Z’s tucked away from last year.

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5) Santas Grotto. We have a lovely grotto near us at Ruxley Garden Centre where the kids get to walk through the elf village, make a card, make reindeer food then meet Santa. I’ve also booked ice skating for Zachy and Daddy after so should be a magical day.

6) Elf. We downloaded elf app last year of which the name escapes me and I can’t find so may have to come back to you but it was brilliant. The elf would pop out from behind any static object in your house that you pre film and position the siad Elf next to. It was magical.

7) Cookies for Santa. We bake cookies for Santa on Christmas Eve to leave out. Again another debate I’ve been having with myself is whether to get a personalised plate…

7) Christmas Parties. Not that I’m complaining about an opportunity out with my friends but usually this means by the time I’ve done the 2 or 3 sets of friends plus the work one I’m done with partying. The other downer is that it generally means that commencing next week I won’t see the other half till Xmas Day! (or that’s how it feels ๐Ÿ™‚ )

New Traditions

I have Santa letters this year that I received from Lapland mailroom. You can read my post about it here. I’m really looking forward to Zachary getting his this year and seeing his face when we read it together.

I really want Zachy to write a letter to Santa this year so the above comes almost as a response.

I’ve been considering doing a Xmas box for Xmas Eve so I may make one this year. I’ll include the aforementioned pyjamas, a Christmas book, Christmas film and maybe one early present – perhaps you could let me know what you all put in yours if you do them?