Sunday, 31 July 2016

31 Activities for August

Tomorrow is August and as the summer stretches out ahead of us it can be hard to think of different ways to keep the little ones occupied. Here are 31 activities for August, one for every day this month. Some are for sunny days and others perfect for those inevitable rainy afternoons.

  1. Visit the library. Join in with the Big Friendly Read a summer reading scheme for school aged children, join in with craft sessions or simply borrow a book.
  2. Make ice cream sundaes, let the little ones go crazy with ice cream, sauces and sprinkles. 
  3. Have a colouring competition. Twinkl have some great printable colouring pages for both younger and older audiences. 
  4. Picnic with friends. Grab some friends, a ball and some games and head off for a picnic.  My boys love picnics wether it is in our local park or further afield. 
  5. Make fruity jelly. Make up your favourite flavour jelly and add lots of fresh fruit for a tasty treat. 
  6. Make Nature Suncatchers. I love these super easy suncatchers for toddlers
  7. Play Pokemon Go! Love it or hate it, Pokemon Go is the hottest game around right now. 
  8. It's Olympic year so why not make some Olympic ring art, I have printed out some colour sheets and we are also planning on doing this Olympic Ring printing
  9. See a film.  Check out new releases The BFG or Finding Dory or pop along to the children's screenings most cinemas offer showing slightly older films. 
  10. Wash the car.  Put small hands to work washing the car. Get them to wash their toys too.
  11. Rainbow bright baking, its summer so brightly coloured bwking is needed. Why not make rainbow cookies, marbled rainbow cakes or rainbow drop topped cakes. 
  12. Small world play. Make a dinosaur world or a farm or a zoo. Whatever floats your boat.  
  13. Make ice lollies. Homemade ice lollies are fun to make and you can make them as healthy(or not) as you like. My two are fond of crushed watermelon pops and natural yogurt combined with berries and frozen. 
  14. Go on a nature walk. Take along some paper and pencils to draw what you see or print out one of these fab summer nature walk worksheets. 
  15. Make smores. In the UK digestives seem to be the way to go to make smores, netmums have an easy guide om how to do it. 
  16. Use toys to paint with. We recently did this in our tuff spot but you can do it anywhere. 
  17. Rock painting. Make cute rock pets or just get creative and make your own designs. 
  18. If you don't fancy painting rocks why not make story stones instead using printable from Twinkl. 
  19. Float or sink science. The perfect experiment for outside in the paddling pool or a big bucket of water, use this printable table to chart your results. 
  20. Sidewalk chalk. You can pick up giant chalks in most poundshops, use them to decorate the floor outdoors. 
  21. Make garden Mandalas. How beautiful are these mandalas from Jennifers Little World?
  22. Tie dye. Brighten up pants,  vests and the shirts with tie dye. Dylon dyes have always given me great results. 
  23. Visit a museum. Most towns have a little museum and usually they ate free. Over the summermost also have fun children's activities to take part in. Check your local councilswebsite for more information.
  24. Make a fruit pizza, sweet pizzas are very on trend at the moment and this rainbow fruit pizza looks absolutely amazing. 
  25. Plant some seeds and watch them grow. Cress and beans are great quick growing plants for children. 
  26. Take indoor toys outside. Sometimes changing where a toy in located suddenly gives it a new lease of life. Try a car mat outside or wooden building blocks and diggers in the sandpit.
  27. Cloud watching, a classic summer activity, Seb absolutely loves doing this. 
  28. Make nature art. Create nature art by taking rubbings, using items from nature to create a collage or faces or use them as tools to paint with.
  29. Lego afternoon. Perfect for rainy afternoons or when it is just too hot to play outside. Build the biggest tower or add some challenge cards for inspiration. 
  30. Go hill rolling. Find a big hill and go rolling down, I dare you to join in and not be laughing. 
  31. Excavate toys from ice. Freeze some favourite toys in ice and give the children tools to help excavate it. We have done this with Lego and dinosaurs and my boys love it, warm salt water in a spray bottle speeds things up. 

I hope some of this list has taken your fancy. What plans do you have for August?

Saturday, 30 July 2016

What we ate in July 2016

I thought it would be fun to start a regular round up featuring some of what we have eaten over the last month. Anything from new products we have tried,  meals out or things we have made. So here is what we ate in July.

First has to be Cure and Simple subscription box which I tried out this month. Cure and Simple deliver bacon by post, total genius! The bacon is traditiinally cured and yes it is really good and the fact it comes by post is a fab novelty! If you fancy trying some bacon in the post for just £1 sign up using the code fs7mjg *

Cure and simple, bacon by post

Cure and simple, bacon by post, sandwich

This month on twitter i won a competition and my prize was a Hug Box full of chocolate and other goodies, I honestly could not believe how many goodies were inside the box. So good and such a lovely treat.

My June Degustabox included Baked In product and an offer to try my first box for 99p which I took up (I am a sicker for subscription boxes), I received a Whoopie Pie box and had a fun afternoon with Sebastian baking them.

Baked in, whoopie pie

I took Seb out to Pizza Express for lunch part of a day out just me and him last week.  He loved the fab kids menu with it's 3 courses and I enjoyed my pasta and dough balls.

Pizza express lunch

Finally we popped to a local cafe The Pie Shed after a hot sunny afternoon in the park. They sell amazing cakes and milkshakes, check out this Unicorn Milkshake and also the chocolate fudge cake, totally amazeballs!

The Pie Shed, Unicorn Milkshake, bubblegum milkshake

The Pie Shed, chocolate fudge cake, chocolate milkshake

What have you been eating this month?

* If you sign up to Cure and Simple using the above code, it will entitle me to some free bacon. Though you will then get your own code to share*

Friday, 29 July 2016

Tommee Tippee Ultra Bottle Giveaway

When you are pregnant or a new mum looking to buy bottles the sheer amount of choice can be a little overwhelming, there are all kinds of promises being made, lots of jargon to be deciphered and it can be hard to know which will be the best for your baby.

Tommee Tippee ultra bottle giveaway

The new Tommee Tippee Ultra bottle is a baby bottle like no other. It has a breast like shape for a natural latch, the teat is made from a soft high grade silicone allowing it to move in all directions like a breast. There is a contour zone on the teat to allow baby to form a secure seal to reduce the air taken in my by baby which can lead to discomfort, the seal also helps to reduce milk dribbles or milk beard as we call it in this household! The most striking thing about the Ultra bottle is the teat which is not central like most other bottles, this makes for a comfortable upright feeding position and provides a smooth flow right until the feed is finished.
Fhe Ultra bottle is available in 2 sizes 150ml and 260ml and is of course BPA free, for more information pop over to the Tommee Tippee website.

Today i am giving one lucky person the chance to win a Tommee Tippee Ultra Bottle (260ml size) to try for themselves. Simply fill in the rafflecopter. Remember to read my terms and conditions below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

1. Open to UK residents only.

2. Entrants must be over 18.

3. All entries will be checked.

4. Please make sure i have a way to contact you if you win.

5. Prize will be sent by myself. 

6. The prize is one Tommee Tippee Ultra bottle in size 260ml. No cash alternative

7. If I am unable to make contact with the winner within a reasonable time a new winner will be drawn.

**We have been provided with this prize by Tommee Tippee**

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Nostell Priory Wakefield

You probably know by now that I love to take the boys to explore different places and last week we headed to our local National Trust site which is Nostell Priory in Wakefield. We have never visited before for some reason despite me living in Wakefield for quite a few years. Anyway as the weather had been so lovely and warm we decided to take a picnic and spend the day there.

We visited on a Sunday so I expected it to be really busy but in fact it wasn't too bad, although there were lots of cars in the carpark (£3 for non members) we didn't find that it felt overly busy at all. We parked up and headed up the path to the house and gardens.

Nostell Priory Wakefield

Once we had our tickets and a map we headed through to the gardens. The boys wanted to explore the kitchen gardens  (unfortunately the rose garden was closed for a wedding) and they loved exploring the paths and looking at the fruit and veg growing there.

Nostell Priory Wakefield,  kitchen gardens

Nostell Priory Wakefield,  kitchen gardens, lettuce growing

After this we explored the play area, I have to say I thought this area was great as it is set in woodland and the play equipment is in keeping with that. There is equipment for children of all ages and even a minibeast area with a minibeast mansion and wood to lift and look under. We managed to spot some beetles and slugs.

Nostell Priory Wakefield, play area

Nostell Priory Wakefield,  national trust, play area

Nostell Priory Wakefield, play area, national trust

National Trust Wakefield, minibeast zone, national trust

Nostell Priory Wakefield,  national trust, minibeast zone

After a good play we decided to head to the lakeside and walk around and stopped for our picnic on the way. The lake is really pretty with ducks and swans, we even had a duck join us for our picnic although the boys weren't too pleased!

Nostell Priory Wakefield,  national trust,

Nostell Priory Wakefield,  lake, national trust

After lunch we headed back to the house and unfortunately it did start to rain but we managed to find a large tree to shelter under until it slowed down and then we headed inside the house itself. Sebastian is really into looking around houses at the moment and while he is young, he is definitely picking up information and it is a good introduction to history for him.
The house dates from the 18th century and is home to Chippendale furniture, various paintings and a gorgeous 18th century dolls house which I loved seeing, We were invited to write down what would go into our own dream house and of course there was a lego  room and a cake room.

Nostell Priory Wakefield,  national trust

Nostell Priory Wakefield

Nostell Priory Wakefield, national trust

Nostell Priory Wakefield,  national trust,  coving

Nostell Priory  Wakefield

Nostell Priory Wakefield, national trust

Nostell Priory Wakefield, dining room

Nostell Priory Wakefield,

Nostell Priory wakefield

Nostell Priory Wakefield, national trust

Nostell Priory Wakefield

I have to compliment all the staff in the house, everybody was so friendly and helpful and knowledgeable too. I am aware that not everybody appreciates young children visiting these kinds of places but they were very family friendly.

Once we had looked around the house we took the boys back to the play area to let off some steam before popping into the shop (I cannot resist a gift shop) and heading home. We had a great day at Nostell and will hopefully visit again soon and perhaps join the National Trust as I would love to go to more sites.

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

A Kitchen Lived In #LittleKitchen

I love cooking with the boys and often share what we have made on Instagram and here on my blog. However anyone who has ever cooked with kids knows that the reality often involves mess, spillages, nibbling at the ingredients and even tantrums, it is definitely not Instagram perfect!

A Kitchen Lived In is a campaign by Wren Kitchens who want to show the reality of cooking with your children against the images you might see pop up on social media. We were challenged to get busy in the kitchen and show the true mess that can be involved. Wren Kitchens understand that getting the little ones in the family to eat their 5-a-day can sometimes prove quite a challenge and they have created the Little Kitchen Hub a place full of tips, nutritional information and even a free ebook to download full of yummy healthy child friendly recipes.

We received a parcel of goodies including a print copy of Wren Kitchens fab free ebook. We took a look through the book together and the boys picked out a few recipes to try, headed to the shops to stock up on ingredients and had a busy time in the kitchen.

Both boys loved the idea of making their own Breakfast Jars. I'll be honest i don't often involve them in making their own breakfast, it is probably my busiest time of day trying to make sure everyone is fed, watered and making sure we are ready for the day ahead and I always feel rushed but these jars take minutes to put together and the boys were easily able to make it themselves. The boys chose to use strawberries and blueberries in their jars along with the granola, yogurt and some honey. The great thing is that you can easily mix and match the fruits to suit your families tastes.

I set out all the ingredients and let the boys get creative, they used the recipe book as a guide and they layered the ingredients as shown in the recipe. Sebastian really enjoyed doing this as you can see.  Yes they made some mess with the ingredients but it was easily wiped up and they ended up with a healthy breakfast which they devoured. We will definitely be making these again.

There are so many great recipes included in the book and we have also made tortilla pizzas and Chocolate Covered Banana and Peanut Butter Bites. We had such a fun day cooking up a storm (and eating the results).

I can't wait to try out some more of the recipes. Remember to head over to Little Kitchen Hub for more information on Wren Kitchens campaign and to download the free ebook.

**We were sent a parcel of goodies to help us create this post, all opinions are my own**

Monday, 25 July 2016

Our weekly meal plan 25/7

Happy Monday meal planners! What a scorcher it up has been this last week, we have really enjoyed the weather but it has meant our meal plan went a bit off kilter and we barely stuck to our meal plan at all and have done lots of picking at foods instead of big meals.
We are going to be quite busy this week, Phil has a couple of weeks off work and so we will probably have some days out so there was no point allocating meals to days this week, we will go with the flow.

Roast chicken dinner

Chinese chicken curry with noodles

Car brie nara

Beef and sun dried tomato meatballs in a tomato and basil sauce with pasta

Beef burgers in broiche buns with sweet potato fries and peas

Slow cooked chilli with jacket potatoes

Meat and potato pie with chips and veg

Unfortunately the Meal Planning Monday linky is no longer running, but the good news is the meal planning is carrying on in the form of a blog hop. Why not add your link and join us?

If you are looking for meal planning inspiration check out my previous meal plans

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Nibbling Teething Jewellery Review

Barney is coming up to four months old and showing all the classic signs of teething. Everything is going straight into his mouth to be chewed so when an email dropped into my inbox about Nibbling Teething Jewellery I wanted to know more.

Nibbling is a London based company owned by a mum of 3 children under 5. The company sell a range stylish teething jewellery and toys made from 100% food grade silicone which is soft and safe for your baby to chew on and can be kept clean with warm water and soap and can also be put into the dishwasher or steam steriliser.

We have been putting a Nibbling teething necklace and a ring rattle through their paces recently and I am so impressed with them both.

Nibbling teething jewellery review

Nibbling teething jewellery review

Nibbling teething jewellery

Nibbling teething jewellery

The Rattle Ring has quickly become Barneys favourite thing to play with at home. He can easily grasp the ring and get it into his mouth to have a good chew of the soft smooth silicone beads and the rattle is an added bonus as he is slowly realising he can make the noise by moving the toy. On top of that it is a really nice toy to look at. The grey and yellow combination is very stylish as are the other colour combinations, you can tell that the companies owner has a background in design. Priced at £10, I think these toys would make a great new baby gift.

Nibbling teething jewellery review rattle

Since having children i rarely wear necklaces because they are always being grabbed at by tiny inquisitive hands which can easily lead to broken jewellery and I do really miss wearing pretty necklaces . Nibbling teething necklaces are made to be grabbed and all of the Nibbling Teething necklaces have a easy pull clasp for added safety and to prevent breakages.
Regular readers will know that I often carry Barney in the sling and he is now at the stage where he loves to grab at my clothes or hair while I am carrying him.  The gorgeous bright red Camden necklace has given him something else to grab hold of and he absolutely loves to chew on it particularly the oval beads, it keeps him occupied while I have my hands free. I love that the necklace looks like an ordinary necklace that I would buy from a fashion store and that the necklace comes in various colours too.

Nibbling teething jewellery review

Both Barney and I really like these teething products, they are fashionable and practical at the same time and I can see us using them for a long while yet. Take a look at the Nibbling Teething Jewellery website for more information and to check out these and other great products. 

**I was sent these products for the purpose of this post, all opinions are my own**

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