7 Favourite Bedtime Books for Kids

When it comes to Blake's bed room he spends a lot of time in their, Laughing, playing and of course sleeping. He also has a lot of toys and books and so we try and make the room quiet and relaxed for bedtime. He currently sleeps in a single bed and in the future we may consider getting him a mid sleeper to maximise space.

One of the big things when it comes to bedtime is a good routine and our favourite part is to read him a book. Blake owns a lot of books however we have a good few books which we tend to read at bedtime.

So here are 7 current favourite bedtime reads: 

The Tiger who came to tea
This is such a classic and book the 3 of us all love. This story is of Sophie and her extraordinary tea time guest. The story has been loved by millions of children  since it was published 50 years ago. 

Mog the forgetful cat 
Another classic and a story of everyone's favourite family cat Mog. Mog always seems to be in trouble. She forgets that she has a cat flap and she forgets that she has already eaten her supper. But, one night, Mog’s forgetfulness comes in very handy…

One night in the zoo
"One moonlit, magical night in the zoo, An elephant jumped in the air and flew.But nobody knew." like the above two books this one is also by Judith Kerr and an another great bed time read. 

Goodnight Iggle Piggle
It's no surpise that some In the night garden books would be included. It's almost time for bed in the Night Garden, but first Igglepiggle wants to say goodnight to all his friends. What a good idea! Let's go with Igglepiggle as he gives each of his friends a hug.

Sleep tight Upsy Daisy
Upsy Daisy's having fun dancing, and she's not ready to go to bed yet. Come play with Upsy Daisy in the garden, and then settle down to sleep as she does the same!

Time for bed everybody 
Join Igglepiggle and his friends on a busy day in the Night Garden, turning the clock hands as you go, and then say goodnight when it's time for bed. 

Night Monkey, Day Money 
Night Monkey and Day Monkey don’t think they have much in common. But when they each spend time in the other's opposite worlds, they learn a lot - and they also learn to be the best of friends.



So there you have it some of our favourite bedtime reads. We do love finding new books to read so we would love to know yours/your child's favourite bedtime stories. 

*In collaboration with Happy Beds

Blogger/Home Office Essentials

I've written a few times now on the topic of blogging especially with how much hard work goes into it. I've also shared some tips for starting your own blog. Today though I wanted to share with you some of my blogging/office "essentials". I say essentials however they are things that I love that make blogging more fun and organised rather than a must have.



Unicorns are popular at the moment and so I was excited that Find me a gift have this cute Unicorn Tape dispenser.  For me this is quirky little item to sit on my desk and as it has magical rainbow tape I can use it for sticking little quotes above my desk.


A must have for me is items to jot down important notes which is why I love the Eric the memo elephant. Eric the memo elephant is ceramic and comes with a whiteboard pen and coth. This is an ideal for saving on post it notes and is much nicer too. He looks so cute sat on my desk. 
 


I love using fun and colourful pens for jotting down ideas in my many notebooks and so these ones from Pentel in the Energel ink range are ideal for me as the ink is fast drying which is ideal with me being left handed meaning no smudges.





Also when it comes to pens it's lovely to have my own personalised which I use specifically for blog related note taking. This personalised chrome pen and case from Gift Pup is classy  and also makes a great gift if you are a blogger or otherwise.  I got my case personalised with: Eat, Sleep, Blog, Repeat and the pen it'self has my name on it. I think it's great that you can personalise with your own special message.

Another item which is also from Gift Pup is a personalised notebook I love this cute floral design its right up my street and very shabby chic. I love to have different notebooks for certain blog related things. 



On the subject of books blog planners are great for tracking stats, what posts you have planned for each day of the month etc. I also love the book 365 Blog Topic Ideas as it's very helpful for when I am a bit stuck for inspiration. It has everyday idea as well as some seasonal ones too. 



The Leather Goals Journal from Find me a gift is a great way for me to jot down my blogging goals, dreams and ambitions. I love the blush pink leather embossed with "Goals Journal" and  "Achieve your dream life" in copper. It contains 260 pages of plain paper so enough for avid writer like myself. 



When at my desk I love nothing better than sipping on a hot drink. In the morning this tends to be coffee or hot chocolate in the evenings if I am working prior to bedtime.This Heat-Sensitive Sleeping Panda Mug is a cute addition to my mug collection. As you fill the mug with hot water the panda wakes up, opens its eyes and turns from black to white. Once cold the panda will go back to sleep once more. 




When it comes to taking the perfect images for my blog I mainly use my camera however from time to time I use my phone as well. This Pixi Mini Tripod is a must have for helping me to take great quality photos.  It's portable and sturdy so ideal for taking with you on the go so ideal for blogging. Weighing only 190g, the PIXI can take a maximum weight of 1kg – ideal for Compact System Cameras. It can be used as a sturdy base for taking photos, or as a comfortable grip to taking videos. The push button allows you to position and securely lock the ball head in a single movement – position the ball head to get the shot you want when the button is pushed, and release the button to lock the head in place.


Do you have any blogging must haves? 

Tactical Tuesdays (Autumn bucket list)

Welcome back to another week of #TacticalTuesdays,  which I am co-hosting with the lovely Vicky from The Tactical Mummy. I'm loving that many of you have been joining in with our linky so far. 



If you haven’t joined in with #TacticalTuesdays  before the idea behind the posts is that you share with us your Tactical Parenting Hacks for the week.It can be anything as simple as that you have cooked fish fingers or a clever idea you have had to entertain your children. 



Every Tuesday we share a post this can be new or from the archives and we invite you do the same as part of this linky. The following week we will share one of our favourite posts and link back to your blog. 



Please don't forget you can use the hashtag #TacticalTuesdays over on Facebook, twitter and Instagram) 



If you would like to link up please grab our badge and share with us one of your hacks of the week. We are looking forward to reading your posts.


Our featured post of the week is Energy Hacks For Tired & Exhausted Moms by Mommys timeline. Her hacks will be helpful for a lot of mums I especially think its a great idea to prioritize chores.


Tactical Tuesday at Joanna Victoria
If you are a regular reader it wont be a surprise that autumn is my favourite season. I've compiled a bucket list of fun things for us to do during my favourite season and hopefully will give you some inspiration too. 




- Go on a scavenger hunt 
- Go on a woodland walk 
- Create autumn leaf art
- Autumn tuff tray 
- Play in a leaf pile
- Get wellies on and jump in puddles
- Make an apple crumble
- Enjoy stews and casseroles
- Wrap up in jumpers, cosy socks or getting under a blanket
- Drink Hot chocolate
- Make homemade soup 
- Create a den in the living room
- Buy pumpkin/s
- Snuggle up with a book 
- Have indoor picnic near the fireplace
- Drink/eat things pumpkin 
- Buy autumn candles
- Dress the home up for autumn 
- Visit a farm 
- Cinnamon and apple porridge
- Watch a scary film 
- Make s'mores
- Bake bread
- Take loads of autumnal photos
- Halloween crafts
- Autumn simmer pot
- All things Hygge


Do you have any other ideas of the autumn things we could add to our list?

Living Arrows: 39/52



Blake is now on his 3rd week of Pre-School and I have been finding that the weeks/weekends are just flying by. I also feel that I'm not spending as much time with him and doing different things as I would like. When Blake hasn't been at Pre-School most of the time has been spent playing with his new Thomas train set which he really loves. Hence why this weeks photos are of him playing with the set. 

One thing I do love about Blake's Pre-School is that they take loads of photos so that parents can see what their child/ren have been up to and I have loved seeing them as its so reassuring for me. One of my favourites from last week was him playing with leaves in the Pre-School garden. 




Living Arrows

Things I'm looking forward to : Fuerteventura



Fuerteventura is a holiday destination I've been wanting to go on for quite awhile now. Once Stuart has got a passport all sorted, we will sort out booking our holiday. The plan at the moment is to go sometime in 2018 and we are looking forward to a break away feeling the sun on our skin and sand in our hair. 

Fuerteventura is a destination suitable for all ages and I've found myself browsing to find the place to stay for us to stay. One of things I have done is look up Holiday Gems Fuerteventura holiday deals and I'm so excited about the things to look forward to about visiting there as it's also a great destination for families. 

So here are the things I am most looking forward to : 

Weather
Fuerteventura is a warm climate with year-round sunshine so I know that whatever month we decided to go we will get some much needed sun on our British bones.

Beach
Relaxing on a stunning beach with an amazing view for short periods of time is my idea of heaven.  Plus Blake loves playing with sand and so it would be great for him too building sandcastles with our help of course. 

Activities
When we go on holiday we aren't the type of people who love to sit around the pool all day. 
We like to do other things as well as soaking up the sun and swimming. When it comes to the place we stay we will look out for activities they provide at the resort and entertainment for the evenings.

Excursions
As I mentioned above we don't like sitting round the pool all day and so to us being able to go on a few excursions during our stay there is important to us, as we'd love to explore what the island has to offer


All inclusive
Not having to worry about food while we are on holiday especially with a fussy toddler to me is heaven. With All inclusive I know there will be something all of us will eat. Even if it does turn out to be biscuits like Blake did in Cape Verde last year. 

Do you have any plans for holidays in 2018? Have you ever visited Fuerteventura  if so I'd love to know where you stayed and if you loved the place. 


* In Collaboration with Holiday Gems

Autumn Pre-School Run Wishlist

Now that autumn is here and Blake started Pre-School last week I have compiled a wishlist of Items that I would like for when I am doing the Pre-School run. 


I am in need of a much better coat for the Pre-School run ,as the last few weeks I have found my usual coat isn't as waterproof as I would like it to be. I really love this navy design by Joules as it looks stylish but also will keep the rain off me. I love that its a neutral colour so will go with a lot my clothing and accessories. 

Another item is a comfy pair of shoes. I like to wear boots in autumn/ winter however my current pair have left me with blisters. I love wearing black knee high ones and this pair look great with a zip down the side and a small heel meaning they should be comfy. I love black boots as they go with everything that I wear. 






It's lovely to have my own bag again and not having to use a changing bag anymore. I do love the one above as its smart looking and a good enough size for what I need as I don't take much with me these days. As with the boots I like black bags as they go with everything I own and so are perfect when I am popping out to do the school run. 

Not an essential however I'd love a fitbit flex 2 as I'm starting to get into the idea of tracking my steps. I think it's a great way for you to know if you are doing the recommended amount of steps in a day. I'm certainly walking a lot more than I use to thanks to doing the Pre-school run most days.    



What are your Pre-School/School run must have's for the autumn?


Images sourced from Lyst.co.uk



Fisher-Price® Thomas & Friends™ Adventures™ Cranky at the Docks





Blake and I were excited to receive the new Thomas Track Set to add to his train collection. Fisher-Price Thomas & Friend  Adventures Cranky at the Docks is an exciting new  track set where little engineers help Thomas and Cranky on their latest adventure at Brendam Docks. 


The set is a great size as it's small enough to store away but big enough for little ones to enjoy playing with.This means that it doesn't take up most of our living room and can be stored away easily in one of his toy boxes.  The  instructions were easy to follow when it came to putting the track together which is always handy when you have an eager toddler who wants it ready "NOW"!




The set features: 
- A rotating cranky which rotates 360 degrees and an arm that can be raised and lowered
- Thomas metal die cast engine plus a boat
- A drawbridge that moves up and down

The set is suitable for ages 3 years and over. Although Blake isn't 3 until December he does love playing with this set especially the die cast Thomas. The set can also be connected to other Thomas & Friends Adventures playsets that your little one may have. 





The set is great for letting children explore and use their imagination along with helping to develop both fine and gross motor skills. Blake loves the little Thomas and running him around the track and it's a great size for little hands. Cranky is another favourite due to him being able to move around and has a hook to load. 

The set retails at £34.99 which considering it can be connected to other Thomas and friend adventure sets is a great price. The set is definitely worth purchasing if you have a little one that loves Thomas or trains general. The set is also sturdy so I know that it will certainly last awhile. I also like that with this train set you don't have to worry about batteries and needing to replace them which I do with other train sets we own. 

*I was sent the Thomas and Friends Cranky at the Docks for this review although all opinions are of my own. 

Tactical Tuesdays (Laundry Hints and Tips)

Welcome back to another week of #TacticalTuesdays,  which I am co-hosting with the lovely Vicky from The Tactical Mummy. I'm loving that many of you have been joining in with our new linky so far. 

If you haven’t joined in with #TacticalTuesdays  before the idea behind the posts is that you share with us your Tactical Parenting Hacks for the week.It can be anything as simple as that you have cooked fish fingers or a clever idea you have had to entertain your children. 

Every Tuesday we share a post this can be new or from the archives and we invite you do the same as part of this linky. The following week we will share one of our favourite posts and link back to your blog. 

Please don't forget you can use the hashtag #TacticalTuesdays over on Facebook, twitter and Instagram) 

If you would like to link up please grab our badge and share with us one of your hacks of the week. We are looking forward to reading your posts.


Our featured post of the week is Our first messy play and a big step out of the comfort zone by somerset mum. I can totally relate to how she feels about mum and baby groups and stepping out of my comfort zone. 

Tactical Tuesday at Joanna Victoria
I've been really busy the past week so for this weeks post its from the archives and all about Laundry hints and tips. When you have a family the laundry can be like the never ending story and all you want is to see an empty basket. I very rarely see an empty basket in our home however I do like to try and make things easier for us. So the tips included in the post are great if you need some help with your washing too. 



Living Arrows - 38/52

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth” by Kahlil Gibran

This past week has all been about Blake settling in at Pre-School and its gone rather well. The first day I was nervous for him but he was perfectly fine with no tears which helped as I had been feeling so anxious too. We had a few blips the rest of the week with crying when we dropped him off however he settled very quickly and he gets on really well with his key worker. 

This weeks photo was taken Sunday whilst we had cuddles on the sofa i just love these special moments together. I'm lucky in the sense that he is only doing 2 hours Monday-Friday afternoons as I can still have to spend with him. The 2 hours that he is in each day go so fast and I'm still trying to adjust to it all.



Living Arrows

Hair & Body Products For At Home Relaxation



As a busy Mum it can be hard to find the time to think and look after ourselves. Times when I know I am not going to be going out I can be found at home with a make up free face and straightened hair. When I go out I straighten my hair, pop on some foundation, eyeliner and mascara and off out I go. 

From time to time I do like to make more of an effort. However  I can't afford to get things done at the salon or have the time. I tend to get my eyebrows threaded when they need doing and a hair cut every 3- 6 months (don't judge me). But the rest of the time I like to do any pampering when I have a free moment at home. 

Overtime I have found some great products that I love using to make me feel more better about myself and so I thought I'd share with you some of them. 


When it comes to shaving small areas of my body such as my underarms I've started using Speed Shave. Speed Shave is a  waterless travel razor that is travel safe for hand luggage and is unisex. Ideal for travelling and staying hair free and well-groomed on the go. The razor contains 10ml Speed Shave natural waterless shave lotion in the handle, that contains enough for 10 shaves (based on face or underarms). It combines a razor, Vegan shave lotion, body moisturiser in one.



I love being able to relax in a bath and I use loads of different brands of bath related products however recently I've loved using the Malki Dead Sea bath salts as they smell amazing. This a delightful aromatherapy treat without needing to go to a spa. Just scoop some bath salts into your running bath water and then lay down and relax enjoying the scent and pure relaxation. 



The hottest hair and beauty trimming tool is ideal for us in between salon visits,to instantly transform your look with accuracy and gentleness without the fear of cuts. The styler is suitable for using on sensitive body parts such as your eyebrows, bikini, underarm and upper lip. All you have to do is pop on the correct attachment for fuss free trimming. 



Discover the ENVY Blowdry kit for a 10 minute professional game changer. The prewash system repairs, strengthens and adds gloss to all hair types. The set contains: 
ENVY Dual fix 12, gentle cleansing shampoo and gentle detangling conditioner. The blowdry kit is ideal for getting that salon look at home. There are 2 ways in which to use the Dual fix 12 the first being to massage into dry hair, blow dry in for a deep treatment before shampooing or applying it between the shampoo and conditioner stage. 



When looking for new skincare products I came across the B. range in superdrug. The range comes in four phases with Phase one being the collection I use which is suitable for your late 20's/early 30's. So far I only have the  moisture gel and night serum. However there is also a day cream and blemish gel. There is also a range which is for all skin types and I have been using the exfoliating cleanser which I love. In that range there are many other products such as make up removers,cleansing wipes, eye cream etc.


Clarol’s Skin Flora Re-Balancing Serum 

I've noticed my skin has been quite dry recently and I've also been getting spots more often. Carol's skin re-balancing serum is designed to restore bacterial balance quickly and gently.
It contains a smart patented natural anti-bacterial ingredient called MicroSilver ™ that only attacks bad skin bacteria, leaving good skin flora to flourish. This helps your skin to re-populate with the good stuff and keep the bad stuff at the castle gates.




7th Heaven, the world’s number one face mask brand that is natural and cruelty free. 7th Heaven offers loads of ultra moisturising and damage repairing products for your face, hands, feet, and hair. They are affordable, plus super environmentally friendly - 7th Heaven even offers many vegan friendly products. These products are fantastic home spa products, AND totally budget-friendly at around £1 a pop for face masks, and £1.99 for hair. I love nothing more than relaxing in the bath and popping on a face mask and I'm also loving their hand and feet range which I've never used before until now.



The scholl nail care system is a great starter kit to electrically file, buff and polish nails to give natural, shiny nails. With 3 easy steps this nail care system is a must for your at home manicure and pedicure routine. Battery operated and designed for easy handling this gadget has two speed settings and will also stop when too much pressure is being applied. 


The scholl foot file is one of the most important steps in your at home pedi routine. 
Get soft beautiful feet after one use with the Scholl Velvet Smooth Express Pedi with Diamond Crystals. The roller head removes hard skin leaving feet feeling silky smooth. You can purchase heads in three different intensities: extra coarse for particularly thick and stubborn hard skin, regular course for excess hard skin and gentle for providing a perfect finish.Comes with a safety feature that locks the roller in place if too much pressure is applied, preventing any injuries.

Christmas at Wyboston Lakes Competition


Christmas is fast approaching and The Executive Centre, Wyboston Lakes are holding a Tinsel Town Party Night on Friday 8th December. 

Located in Bedfordshire and within easy travelling distance of St Neots, Milton Keynes, Peterborough and Cambridge, Wyboston Lakes is the perfect place for Christmas parties. 

The Tinsel Town Party Night kicks off in the bar from 5pm,followed by a scrumptious 3 course plated dinner & ½ bottle of wine served from 8pm. After indulging, head over to the dance floor to carry on the party with our resident DJ until 1am. 

There is currently a competition where one person will receive 4 tickets to the Tinsel Town Party Night being held on Friday 8th December at The Executive Centre, Wyboston Lakes. 


To enter simply answer the following question:
What is best joke you have found in a Christmas cracker?

Send your answer via email to competition@wybostonlakes.co.uk no later than 30th September with Tinsel Town Party Prize Draw in the subject line. 
For more information about Wyboston Lakes or the venues please visit www.wybostonlakes.co.uk

Terms and Conditions:
  • Competition closes on 30th September The Promoter is Wyboston Lakes Ltd.
  • Entrants must be aged 18 or over and resident in the UK.
  • Proof of age and residence will be required to receive the prize
  • To receive 4 tickets to the Tinsel Town Party Night being held on Friday 8th December at The Executive Centre, Wyboston Lakes.
  • Only one entry per person will be considered.
  • Entries that are incomplete, illegible or fraudulent will be deemed invalid.
  • No responsibility will be accepted for entries lost, corrupted or delayed in transmission.
  • The promoter reserves the right in exceptional circumstances to vary, amend or withdraw this competition on reasonable notice.
  • There is no cash or other alternative to the prize stated and the prize is not transferable and no part of the prize may be substituted for other benefits, items or additions.
  • The prize may not be sold, offered for sale or used in connection with any other competition or promotion by the prize winner.
  • Winners will be chosen at random and contacted by a representative from Wyboston Lakes.
  • If the winner fails to respond within 48 hours of notification, the prize will be forfeited and an alternative winner will be contacted.
  • To the fullest extent permitted by applicable law, the promoter assumes no liability for any claim, loss or damage arising (whether directly or indirectly).
  • The Promoter’s decision is final and binding on the entrants.
  • No correspondence will be entered into.
  • Entry into the competition constitutes acceptance of these terms and conditions.
  • The name of the winner will be announced by Wyboston Lakes Ltd.
  • These terms and conditions will be governed and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and is subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts

Tactical Tuesday (Making time for you)

Welcome back to another week of #TacticalTuesdays,  which I am co-hosting with the lovely Vicky from The Tactical Mummy. I'm loving that many of you have been joining in with our new linky so far. 

If you haven’t joined in with #TacticalTuesdays  before the idea behind the posts is that you share with us your Tactical Parenting Hacks for the week.It can be anything as simple as that you have cooked fish fingers or a clever idea you have had to entertain your children. 

Every Tuesday we share a post this can be new or from the archives and we invite you do the same as part of this linky. The following week we will share one of our favourite posts and link back to your blog. 

Please don't forget you can use the hashtag #TacticalTuesdays over on Facebook, twitter and Instagram) 

If you would like to link up please grab our badge and share with us one of your hacks of the week. We are looking forward to reading your posts.

Our featured post of the week is 25 Mark making resources by rabbitideas.
I love that she has shared some ideas of things I've never thought of using. 




Tactical Tuesday at Joanna Victoria

As a parent it is so important to make time for you. Self care is important as without making time for ourselves we can burn out. 

I make sure that I have time for myself doing something I love each day. This can be when Blake is in bed or now that Blake will be in Pre-School a few hours a day I have a bit of time too. 

So what are my favourite me time activities? 

Reading
Reading is 100% my favourite thing to do in my spare time. I love to fit in reading a few chapters before bed or when if I have a free moment in a day. 

Youtube/Netflix/DVDs
When I'm not reading I do love to find something to watch on either Youtube or Netflix or even just pop a DVD on. 

Looking after my health
I've not long rejoined slimming world and so once a week on a Thursday evening for a little over an hour its nice to be able to focus on self improvement in that respect. 

Bath/pampering
Sometimes its just nice to sink in a hot bath and pop a face mask on. I have a post coming soon about products for getting that pamper/spa feel at home. 

Exercise
Now that Blake is in Pre-School I have promised myself that I will use some of that time to exercise more this can be by going for a walk or fitting 15/20 mins of zumba or a workout DVD into my day. 

A mug of coffee/tea/ hot chocolate
If I have an extremely busy day than one of my favourite things to do is take some time out just to be able to have a hot drink (sometimes cake too) 

What do you like to do for "Me time"?