Friday, 28 February 2014

Some of our ideas for World Book Day

March 6th is World Book Day.  A day to celebrate the joy of reading!  Kids across the country will be joining in with the celebrations as many schools get onboard with the fun.  Both Kizzy and Freddy will be going to school wearing fancy dress, as they adopt the appearance of favourite book characters. It's a lovely way to get even the most reluctant readers interested in reading books.

Whether you purchase a ready made fancy dress costume or if you make your own, there are hundreds of different characters to choose from.  A survey of 800 mums found that the two most popular characters for children in the UK to dress up as on World Book Day are the Gruffalo and Harry Potter*.  Harry Potter costumes are relatively easy to do, but the Gruffalo would be more of a challenge and definitely not something I'll be trying!

world book day

This year Kizzy's class are dressing up as characters from classical fiction and she is planning on going as 20's socialite Daisy Buchanan from The Great Gatsby. She has a twenties style dress accessorised with a hairband, brooch and 20's hair and make-up.  She is currently reading the book in preparation.  She reads way above her age and loves fashion, so Daisy is an ideal (if not a little unconventional) choice for my 11 year old.

Freddy has decided that he wants to be a knight like King Arthur or Mike the Knight!  He has a costume already so this is an easy one. I like having a few outfits in the dressing up box that we can use for parties or events.  He will undoubtedly change his mind several times before the big day and so the Iron Man costume will be on stand by.

world book day

Over the years I have made lots of different costumes for my children to wear.  One of my favourites is the Scarecrow from The Wizard of Oz.  To make it, I took an old jacket that my mum had chucked out and customised it to make it a bit raggedy by ripping the lining and fraying the seams.  I sewed on clumps of straw and toy mice to give a scarecrow-like feel to the outfit then tied some string around the waist.  I added a straw hat, topped with a stuck on straw bird's nest and toy chick and added a spider dangling from the rim. The outfit was worn over old clothes with the trouser hems cut into zigzags  This outfit has been used time and time again over the last 15 years for the kids for fancy dress parties and Book Days!  Here's a picture of my eldest son Joe (who is now 25) wearing it.

world book day, fancy dress

Fast forward to 2010 and Kizzy is wearing the Scarecrow jacket for her World Book day costume! Reusing and recycling at its very best!

world book day

Another outfit from when when Kizzy was even littler, I made her a Caveman Dave's 'braver sister Ava' costume.  I butchered a furry cushion cover to make a tabard and accessorised it with cardboard bones in her bunches and a shell necklace.  We cut the bottom of some old leggings to give them a jagged, pre-historic look!  She looked very cute and it was a very easy costume to make.

 Costume, world book day

We have had a lot of fun over the years dressing up for World Book Day.  As a Teaching Assistant I made my class laugh when I dressed up as James and the Giant Peach, using my rather large pregnant belly clad in a bright orange t-shirt as the peach!

Whatever your kids decide to dress up in this year, I hope you all have fun and celebrate the joy of reading!

*Survey results brought to you by

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talkTalk, cheap telephone packages

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Dressing Up Ideas for Kids: World Book Day, 6th March

Most children love dressing up.  Many will have a dressing up box, filled with costumes and accessories and will enjoy spending many hours living out scenarios in imaginative games of make believe.  Little boys will enjoy the opportunity and freedom to express themselves and what little girl wouldn't love pretending to be a Pirate Princess in this great girl’s fancy dress outfit from Asda! (Unless of course they would prefer to be a soldier or a Power Ranger...anything goes when playing dressing up!)

Asda, world book day

While it’s a great game to encourage self expression and practice role play, dressing up is even better when there’s a reason for it. Take World Book Day, for example. Children nationwide will be able to participate in this global celebration of the written word, with many schools asking for the pupils to turn up to class wearing a fancy dress costume of some description, to commemorate their favourite book or comic. This fantastic annual event that has operated since 2007 continues to help promote reading and literature, and the importance of these elements in day to day life.

If your children need a costume for World Book Day, there are plenty of places to look for inspiration. If you’re feeling particularly crafty, you may have time to conjure one up with the magic of a sewing machine, or you could rummage through what they already have for a makeshift outfit. Alternatively, you could take a look at the options that are available in the shops – many of which are superb value, so you don’t have to worry about your purse. Here are some ideas:


If your children love comic books, use this as inspiration for a costume. It’s easy to find an outfit that matches your child's favourite superheroes – Batman, Superman, Spiderman, Thor – you name it, there’ll be a costume to suit. Many superhero costumes can be found in George at a reasonable price.  For example, this Thor outfit complete with hammer is just £12.50.

asda, world book day


Does your little girl love to read about her favourite fairytale princess? Perhaps she’s a fan of Disney movies and the princesses have inspired her to read about the original characters? Whether it’s Rapunzel, Snow White or Cinderella, princess outfits are an easy choice for girls who love a happy ending.

asda, world book day


'You’re a wizard, Harry!' You may have introduced the Harry Potter books to your children because you have read them yourself, or your child may have found them on their own, but dressing up as their favourite wizard is a great way for them to give a tip of their wizard hat to the ‘the boy who lived’. Just add a zig zag scar with face paint and they'll be ready for a day at Hogwart's!

asda, world book day

I'm heading to Asda at the weekend, to buy a fancy dress costume for Freddy on his first World Book Day at school.  I'll have the camera ready to capture the moment!

On World Book Day, every youngster who is in full time education is given a £1 voucher that can either be used to buy a World Book Day book or used as money off a standard book that the child would like. Take advantage of the opportunity and spend some quality time reading with your child – in full dress up, of course! 

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Pancake Pile-Up Game Review

Pancake Pile-Up! is a great way to enjoy Pancake Day this year (and it's completely calorie free!) 

It is a fun relay race game where you stack 'em high and serve 'em up according to the illustrations on the order cards.  Using their spatulas, little ones race to find the right pancakes in the right order and stack them on the paper plate topped with a pat of butter, to win the game.

game, pancake

We were sent the game to try out together.  I loved the pancakes which are soft to touch and decorated with strawberries, bananas, choc chips and blueberries.  They sit well on the spatulas ready to race.  The game comes with order cards and the idea is for the players to collect the pancakes in order to make up the required stack as quickly as possible. The bottom of the box doubles up as a griddle for the pancakes throughout the game, which is a nice touch. It's fast, it's fun and can be played with two players or teams.

Pancake Day

This is a game of speed, co-ordination, concentration and sequencing.  It enhances memory skills and children can practice ordering.  Children learn to pay attention and take turns if they play in teams.  Balance and hand-eye co-ordination is enhanced and gross motor skills are developed.  Kids are up and active as they race to complete the order in this physical game.  It is a great activity for rainy days or for when Freddy has friends round to play.

Freddy loved playing the relay race with his sisters, but he also loved using the game for role play.  He enjoyed serving us up stacks of pancakes matching the orders to the cards.  We talked about all the different flavours of pancakes available and he practiced his counting skills as he served up our pancakes. So the play value of this game goes way beyond the rules!

The game is suitable for children aged 4 and up.  Freddy is 4 and it was perfect for him. It really is a lovely game which doubles up as a short order chef play set!

Pancake Pile-Up! can be purchased online from Learning Resources priced at £14.95 + VAT.

Some Great Kids' Books on Review

Mungo Monkey has a Birthday Party

This is an incredibly cute, colourful storybook from illustrator Lydia Monks, made even better by the addition of lots of fun flaps inside.  It tells the story of Mungo as he prepares for his birthday party.


There is so much to do and little ones can join in with the fun and see what is happening by lifting the flaps!

mungo, egmont books

We loved the colourful illustrations and the cute characters.  The story is simple and sweet and little ones will relate to the tale of Mungo as he bakes a cake, blows up party balloons and chooses a costume to wear.

Egmont books

RRP £7.99 
Publishing March 2014

CBeebies Woolly and Tig 

Fans of Woolly and Tig will enjoy the range of activity books, story books and sticker books featuring their favourite cuddly toy spider.  The Wipe Clean Activity Book lets little ones practice their writing.  Freddy really enjoyed writing his letters, rubbing them off and writing them all over again!


There are lots of things to do and learn, with everyday subjects at the heart of the content.  For example Woolly looks at dinner times and eating in restaurants to teach some early counting and maths skills.


Pre-schoolers can learn vocabulary, trace words and match stickers along with Woolly and Tig.


The colourful sticker sheets are always a hit with children and they allow even the youngest kids to interact with the activities.


The story books reinforce the messages of Woolly and Tig, helping little people share their worries and cope with new situations and experiences.


The Woolly and Tig Books are available now from:

I Love Mummy £5.99 RRP
Let's Play Sticker Book  £3.99 RRP
Out and About Sticker Book £3.99 RRP
Night Night Woolly £5.99 RRP
My Wipe Clean Activity Book (with pen) £3.99
Have Fun with Woolly and Tig £3.99

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

An Open Letter to the Internet - My Biggest Online Fear

Dear Internet,

You and I have had a very healthy and happy relationship for years.  You entertain me.  You make my life easier and more interesting.  You are always there when I need you; reliable, accessible and reassuring. You are a wise friend and an expert that I look up to when I need advice.  Through you I have found many friends and discovered some wonderful and inspiring ideas to enrich my life.  You give me a creative outlet and gave me a new lease of life when I needed it most.

I want too for my children to enjoy the wonderful resource that is the online world.  I want them to be free to play, chat, read, watch videos and run through the myriad paths of knowledge and discovery with joyful abandon.  But sadly I know there is danger lurking out there.  These dangers are my biggest fear.

Because, dear internet, you have a dark side.  A side that terrifies me.  And when it reared its ugly head I felt powerless and horrified by its emergence as it run amok in our life.

You see I have a daughter.  A beautiful, intelligent, talented, amazing daughter.  But a daughter who has become a little bit broken because of you. A daughter who has suffered at your hands, or moreover at the hands of those who use you to to abuse, bully and destroy others.

A daughter whose vulnerability was exploited through the use of cruel words, insults and instructions on how she should kill herself, which wormed their way into her psyche.  Messages sent by weak, cowardly people intent to cause maximum pain and suffering. With the ease of anonymity and the ability to do and say things that they would never have the courage to say face to face, they were able to chip away at my daughter's confidence with no thought of the consequences. Begging them to stop only served to fuel their venom, as they descended like a pack of hyenas waiting for the kill.  Exploiting weakness and breaking down defences with words meant to hurt.  Cruel, cutting words typed anonymously on a keyboard by pathetic perpetrators who hid behind an anonymous facade to attack her for whatever sick and twisted reason it was that motivated them.

Thankfully she survived.  She weathered the storm and came through the other side. She had support. She found the courage. It stopped. We moved on and put this episode behind us. But you never forget.  She didn't come out unscathed.  She was hurt. Violated by their hatefulness.  The scars on her wrists will be a constant reminder to her.  And to me.

So dear internet, although I love you, I wish you had the power to prevent these anonymous bullies from having the unencumbered freedom to hurt others because they are somehow different to them or are a threat to their own insecurities.  Virtual bullying. Cyber bullying.  It's no less dangerous, no less damaging than any other form of mental abuse.  Just ask the families with children who didn't come through the other side. Those who didn't have the support to get through it.  Just ask those that mourn teen suicide victims. Those kids that were psychologically beaten down and forced into doing the unthinkable as their only way of escape.

We can try to equip our children with the emotional tools to deal with this kind of violation. But sometimes, despite our best efforts, it manages to worm its way into a child's mind, paralysing them with shame and degradation.  Hitting a nerve that makes them powerless to stop it.  With the wisdom of age, we know that victims could easily disconnect their wi-fi, switch off their phones and turn their back on the source of their pain.  But many vulnerable youngsters have their own deep inner insecurities stoked and can't simply walk away.  The hate directed towards them reflects the self-loathing that grows from the constant belittling and berating they suffer online. They cannot separate the two. It's a form of self-harm to suffer at the bullies' hands. It's a vicious circle.  A cycle with potentially fatal consequences.

This dark side is my biggest internet fear. I fear it because I have seen it. The helplessness. The relentlessness. The violation. I fear it because it just too easy for the trolls and the bullies to execute their cowardly attacks from their virtual hideaways, ruining lives and invading the personal space of their vulnerable victims without a second thought.  Tearing down confidence, shattering trust and trampling over the remaining fragile sense of self, from the comfort of their own bedrooms armed with only a keyboard and a frightening lack of empathy or humanity.

Anyone, anywhere can become a victim.  The next prey.  And it can escalate fast.  And it is utterly merciless. I may fear it, but it has made me more vigilant. Stronger.  More aware. Ready to react if ever again I recognise the signs. I just hope and pray that I never, ever have to see it again.



“This post is my entry into the Check and Secure challenge. For more advice on family safety online, see Mums on Security.”

LighterLife 5:2 Diet - My Experience

I have been trialing the LighterLife Fastpacks as part of a 5:2 diet programme.  Overall my experience has been mostly positive.  I found I lost an average of 2-3 lbs a week if I ate well for the remaining five days of the 5:2 plan and I found that I felt pretty satisfied during the 600 calorie fast days. If I ate a bit too much on the five days I maintained my weight and didn't put any extra on.  It is very easy to follow and is an effortless and fuss free way of ensuring you get all your RDA of nutrients without exceeding the calorie count.


You can take a look at my earlier posts on the LighterLife 5:2 plan and on the LighterLife fastpack food.

I liked how convenient the plan was, you can choose which days you want to fast on and you can even take the Fastpacks with you away from home (kettle and microwave access is needed for some food preparation).  It works well around the family as you can eat together five days a week, making a dieting mum less of an issue for impressionable youngsters.  You can also work around special occasions where food is on the agenda, so you don't have to miss out on any events because you are on a strict inflexible diet.

The only negative I found was that I increasingly found that I missed fresh food. As my five day diet improved, I found the call for 'real food' did too. Don't get me wrong, the food is not at all unpleasant. In fact it is all really well flavoured.  But as a vegetarian much of my regular diet consists of fresh fruit, vegetables, pulses and lentils so the fastpacks are quite different to what I usually eat when I'm on a health kick. But I kept telling myself it was only two days a week and the benefits were clearly evident from the onset.  And so the convenience and reassurance of the programme outweighed this minor negative.

I'm not very keen on shakes as meal replacements if I'm honest.  Although these are quite filling, they just feel like a drink to me - not a meal.  So I was impressed to see LighterLife Fastpacks having the variety and including the meals which gave me the psychological benefit of having something proper to chew on for my dinner.  I was pleased that both the carbonara and bolognese are veggie friendly and tasty.

5:2 diet, weightloss

What the 5:2 diet did really well was give me the discipline that I sometimes lack when it comes to making decisions about eating.  Knowing that I could get by and not be hungry on 600 calories made me reassess my food intake.  This has lead to me being far more pro-active about healthy choices.  I have found the LighterLife Fastpacks to be a good short term solution for a 4-6 week diet that is incredibly easy to manage and which provides all the necessary nutrition. It is good to kickstart a healthy eating regime or to lose a few excess pounds before a special occasion.  It is also a really useful tool for ideal weight maintenance.

One thing I would like to see is a variety Fastpack box available.  At the moment the packs contain four of the same product.  It would be nice to see a day's food with a porridge, a soup, a meal and a bar available to purchase as a unit. That would make it more accessible to anyone wanting to do a one off short term 5:2 programme and try a variety of the foods available.

I thought the spaghetti bolognese was a really good diet meal that I would be tempted to enjoy as a low calorie lunch in its own right.  Also the Toffee bars would make a great everyday, low calorie and nutrient rich snack for when my sweet tooth needs sating.  So these products have potential to find their way into my diet even if I'm not doing the 5:2.

There was only one time that I really struggled which was the week when Freddy was really ill.  I was stressed, hadn't slept for nights and felt lousy.  Restricting calories when feeling like this did not work, leaving me feeling worse and very irritable. Commonsense really tells you that at times like this the diet has to take second place to simply getting yourself through a hard time.

And if I ever have to remind myself why it is important to keep my weight down and eat healthy I just need to look at this before mugshot photo.  I know selfie #2 is a bit blurred but the lack of extra chins is still clearly evident!  The LighterLife Fastpacks were just the kick start I needed after the excesses of Christmas and helped me avoid the comfort eating that often accompanies the miserable January weather.

LighterLife, Fastpacks

For more information on LighterLife and the 5:2 Fastpacks go to
Fastpacks are available in Superdrug stores and online.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Cupets Review

There are twelve quirky, cube shaped pets or 'Cupets' ready to be brought to life via a free downloadable app, in this new range of interactive toys from Flair.  We were sent Alpha the Cupet Wolf and we have been looking after him, feeding him, bathing him, playing ball games with him and entering the amazing Cupets virtual world with him, for a couple of weeks now...and do you know what?  We have grown to love him!


The Cupets themselves are small cube shaped toys with a face on one side and a QR code on the top.  The toy comes to life when used with the app which is available on Android and iOS.  By inputting the code you can access your Cupet, bring him to life using augmented reality and play with him within the game on your phone.

Cupets need taking care of, much like the old Tamagotchis of the 90's.  You give them food, love, rest and exercise to keep them healthy. As you look after your Cupet, he uplevels and unlocks more features on the app. There are a few fun games where you can earn coins which can be exchanged for food, accessories and medicines. One is a lot like the very addictive Temple Run and I may have spent a lot of time on it in an effort to beat my high score!  They can be played offline which is a bonus, so are good for keeping Freddy entertained whilst out and about.  In addition to this, you can earn achievement medals for fulfilling certain care criteria.

Cupets, flair
He's a bit dirty and not very happy!

Cupets, flair, virtual pet
With a bit of attention he is now bright eyed and bushy tailed!

You can even teach him to read!

He enjoys playing dressing up too!

Cupets, flair
Augmented reality brings him to life.

You don't actually need the physical Cupet toy to play on the app, except for when using the AR function. The augmented reality feature is a bit of a novelty but we can't get our Cupet to do much apart from simply sit there and look cute or poop!  For us the app is the thing we really enjoy and the physical Cupet provides the initial code to access that.

If you have more than one Cupet unlocked they interact and it opens up more game possibilities.  I am sorely tempted to get another one for Freddy!

You can take photos using the app and share to social media.  Here is one of Alpha holding up a 'Freddy' sign which Freddy thought was very cool!


The Cupets cost £6.99 each which gives you the physical cube toy and the access code for the free app.  Find out more here: 


Cawston Press Kids' Blend Juice Cartons

My children have packed lunches at school and I like to make sure they eat healthily but still enjoy what they have, especially important with my fussy 4 year old Freddy.

Cawston Press sent us some of their new Kids' Blend juice cartons to try in Apple & Summer Berrries and Apple & Blackcurrant flavours.  Consisting of ripe pressed fruit and water in a 60/40 ratio, they are a lighter, milder tasting juice yet still give you one of your five a day.  They contain absolutely no added nasties and are sweetened only by naturally occurring sugars making them a perfect drink for little ones!

They come in handy slimline 200ml cartons with a straw so are perfect for when you are on the go with the kids.

The flavour of the juice is pleasant, refreshing and natural tasting.  Kizzy and Freddy both enjoy it and I am happy that they are having a drink which is free from potentially harmful artificial sweeteners.  Being mixed with water, the juice isn't too harsh on their teeth, unlike pure fruit juices.  So it ticks all the boxes for me.

juice, carton

Apple & Pear and Apple & Mango flavours are also available.  Find them in Sainsbury's and Tesco for £1.79 for a three pack.

Monday, 24 February 2014

Mother's Day Crafting with Baker Ross

Whatever the occasion, Baker Ross has a great range of craft products, which will inspire the kids into making some brilliant creations.  With Mother's Day fast approaching, we received some lovely items from Baker Ross, perfect for making homemade gifts for mums, aunties or grandmas on their special day.  

Mother's day

There were wooden trinket boxes, wooden jewellery trees and flower pots ready to be decorated using the range of stick on gems, rose stickers, bows and pearls. We also received pre-printed cards that were ready to decorate with felt tips and other embellishments plus the items needed to try our hand at Decopatch.  Such lovely ideas for treating mum on Mother's Day!

The children enjoyed the craft activities, working together to create some really lovely, quality craft items that would make really acceptable gifts.  The complexity of the activities can be suited to the age and ability of the child.  At 4, Freddy was able to stick stickers and colour in with felt tips independently and he was very proud to show off his finished pieces!


11 year old Kizzy was able to do more intricate designs, adding embellishments and personalising items to her own taste.  17 year old Ella tackled the slightly more fiddly and much more messy Decopatch and did a great job making a floral jewellery tree.

Baker Ross

I love the wooden keepsake trinket boxes.  They have a hinged magnetic lid and are made really well out of quality wood.  They can be painted, varnished or decorated with stickers to create a personalised design.  At just £4.98 for six boxes, this is great value.  Kizzy chose to decorate hers using acrylic flower jewels (£3.99 for 180), satin bows (£2.99 for 72) and pearls (£2.99 for 120).  Freddy used the felt rose stickers (£2.99 for 90).  Decorating keepsake boxes is a great idea for an activity at a children's birthday party and would give guests a lovely gift to take home with them.

The wooden jewellery trees are just £2.75 for a pack of two.  They are free standing and have branches so you can hang your jewellery on them to keep it safe and tangle free. They are ideal for decorating using Decopatch, choosing from the varied designs of paper available from Baker Ross and sticking pieces on the tree using special glue with a stiff brush.   The Decopatch paper is £3.49 for 3 sheets and the varnish glue is £5.99 for a 150ml pot.  The finished effect gives a colourful, shiny and water resistant finish.


Kizzy liked the au naturel wooden look of her jewellery tree and simply added self-adhesive pearls to decorate it.  Maybe she was being a bit lazy, but the end result looks lovely covered in her necklaces and rings!


The Design Your Own Flowerpot Kit consists of 4 pots, each with a paper insert which can be decorated to make a pretty end result.  Planting the pot up with a houseplant would make a very nice gift for Gran. The Flowerpots are £4.96 for 4. 

Baker Ross

The pre-printed Mother's Day cards are such an excellent idea.  They can be decorated with paints, felt tips or crayons and lend themselves brilliantly to the addition of googly eyes and hair accessories.  At £1.99 for 8 they are an excellent price.  there are also some pop-out heart cards at £2.56 for 8.  Both sets include envelopes so the handmade cards will be ready to send to a loved one.

Baker Ross

As ever, I have been really impressed by the quality, range and value of the Baker Ross products.  The children all loved creating some lovely craft pieces and did a great job learning new skills and using their creativity.  

You can find all the products mentioned above and hundreds more at the Baker Ross website, where you can order online and see some inspiring ideas for art projects. Check out the Baker Ross blog for arty inspiration!

Follow Baker Ross on Twitter @bakerrossltd for special offers, craft tips and giveaways!

Getting Creative with a Zack & Quack Craft Party

Zack & Quack is the new hit TV show on Nick Jr featuring Zack and his duck friend Quack who, together with the help of their friend Kira, enjoy adventures and solve problems in their pop-up paper world.  To celebrate the premiere we were invited by to host a crafts party to coincide with the showing of the first episodes.  Armed with mountains of cardboard boxes, glue, stickers, paper plates, cardboard tubes and lots of imagination, the party guests made their own creations inspired by Zack & Quack!

There were cardboard cameras, paper plate faces, decorated treasure boxes, iced biscuits, origami Belly Up frogs and a brilliant box racing car!  Crafting is always so much fun and kids love to get creative. 

craft, nick jr

The Zack & Quack show itself kept a roomful of boys and girls totally engrossed!  They all really liked the animation and the humour had them giggling.  The stories were fun and the children loved how Zack solved his problems by making things out of paper in his pop up world.  It was definitely a big hit.

Look out for Zack & Quack on Nick Jr at 4.30pm on Fridays.  You can also check out the Nick Jr website on where you'll find lots of craft ideas and activities.  You can also watch clips from the show and meet the characters.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

A Magazine for Lalaloopsy Fans!

Fans of Lalaloopsy will love the new issue of  'Love From...' magazine that is available in shops now.  Each edition includes two separate magazines, a craft activity, a free stationery or accessory gift and character stickers, giving little ones loads to do.


The main magazine features educational content for girls aged 4-6, with stories, quizzes, puzzles and posters. The second magazine includes craft ideas, colouring pages and drawing tutorials and is printed on matte paper.  Each issue focuses on a favourite licenced character.

We received a copy of the Lalaloopsy edition of the Love From...magazine.  It is really lovely and the branded bag was packed with fun things for little girls to do.


The craft activity was a door hanger set complete with glitter glues.  There were also lots of colourful stickers and a cute little stationery set with a sparkly bag and pencil, sharpener, rubber, notepad and little bag.


 The magazine featured a lovely tutorial to make a cookie ingredients jar as a gift.  It included a recipe, cut out labels and instructions.  


The craft magazine is packed with things to colour in, doodle and draw and the matte finish makes it easy for children to colour and cut the paper.  Colouring in on glossy paper with felt tips makes such a mess!

love from, lalaloopsy

The format of Love From.. magazine is really good and there is lots to keep little girls busy!

Pop Chef Review

Pop Chef is the funky gadget that allows you to make 'pop out treats in seconds'.  Consisting of six shape cutters that attach to the device, it allows you to cut shapes from food, like melon, cheese, bread or apple, and then pop them out of with a squeeze of the popper.  It is safe and simple to use and allows you to have fun with food and create some fancy food bouquets and sandwich masterpieces.

Pop Chef

You don't need to use sharp knives or cutters so Pop Chef is perfect for little ones to experiment and create edible food creations.  I let Freddy make himself some mini cheese sandwiches.  He chose the heart shaped cutter and was able to cut and pop out the shapes to make an adorable quadruple decker treat which he stuck onto a skewer and thoroughly enjoyed!  I liked that the Pop Chef was simple enough for Freddy to use independently, and it encouraged him to eat his sandwich with gusto.  He is a very fussy eater so anything that gets him actively interested in eating gets a thumbs up from me!

Pop Chef

For Valentine's day, the girls made some heart shaped cookie treats.  They cut the shapes out and made cookie lollies and iced a little 'I <3 U' message on some.  We used some to decorate desserts making an attractive decorative effect.

Pop Chef

The Pop Chef would be an excellent way to add interest to fruit salads or to regular salads by including stars, hearts and flowers to the mix.  It would also be useful in cake decorating, allowing you to cut shapes from fondant icing to use as cupcake toppers.  It would be far less fiddly than using a metal cutter on a work surface, as you don't have to handle the icing shapes.

I used the Pop Chef to add some heart shaped cut-outs to the top of my Mushroom Pie.  It is lovely to use for pastry as the pop out function keeps the shape perfectly intact. The bulb allows you to pop the cut foods out of the cutting tube really easily so you don't have to handle them. No more having to scrape them up from the work surface or poke them out of cutters with knives.  I look forward to experimenting more with this gadget, because quite frankly it's a lot of fun!

Pop chef

Pop chef is a great way to involve the kids in the kitchen, developing their creativity and encouraging an interest in healthy eating by making fruit and vegetables fun.  With some practice, kids could make some elaborate fruit bouquets by threading shapes onto skewers and arranging in a pretty display.  a great idea for parties!


It comes with six shapes, the popping bulb, a pack of skewers and a recipe booklet.  For approximately £10 it is good value for money and a really fun way to get the kids involved in food preparation.

Find out more here:  Pop-Chef

Monday, 17 February 2014

I'm a Little Fun Fest Blogger!

Little Fun Fest 2014

Little Fun Fest is back for 2014 promising top class fun for little funsters and their families...and I am delighted to have been chosen as one of the Little Fun Fest Bloggers for this year!

The Big Top plays host to some brilliant entertainment from children's TV favourites alongside workshops, puppet shows, music, storytimes, face painting, rides and games to keep little ones thoroughly entertained.

Cbeebies, Get Well SoonCbeebies

Providing a perfect festival experience for little ones, the Little Fun Fest promises to be a wonderful weekend where children are surrounded by music, magic and fun in the beautiful setting of Dunham Massey on April 5th and 6th.  I'll be there with 4 year old Freddy who is very excited about meeting Dr Ranj!

Look out for more information, a competition and an exclusive discount code coming soon to Inside the Wendy House.  Early Bird tickets are available to buy now online.

Find out more at

Little Fun fest


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