Chuggington: The Brewster Booster Bumper Collection

From around the age of one Blake has found a love for trains. Watching them, playing with them, riding on them and watching fun cartoons of them such as Chuggington. Blake loves seeing what adventures Wilson, Brewster, Koko and friends get up to. 


Fans of the CBeebies show can now enjoy a bumper collection of adventures with the release of the new DVD Chuggington: The Brewster Booster Bumper Collection. Chuggington is home to trainee locomotives Koko, Wilson and Brewster. Episodes see the trainees learn valuable life lessons and new skills; empowering them to become the best chuggers they can be! The DVD has 3 hours of traintastic adventures to keep your little one entertained. The DVD features 18 episodes including The Brewster Booster, Koko’s New Look and Quizmaster Hodge.


Chuggington: The Brewster Booster Bumper Collection DVD (£14.99 RRP) is available on Amazon




Fancy getting your hands on a copy?  Than you are in luck as I have one to giveaway to one lucky Chuggington fan.To enter complete the rafflecopter below.

Terms and conditions
-To enter you must be 16 and over 
- This competition will close on 6th March 2019 at 12.00am GMT 
- The winner will be chosen at random and notified via email, twitter or facebook
- If the winner doesn't reply within 30 days another winner will be drawn


- Please have a look at my privacy policy on how how I collect, store and use data.



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Updating our bed with Room to sleep

With us being first time home buyers it's been a stressful time for us recently.  We have a lot going on with unpacking, getting bits and bobs sorted for example getting a new front door ordered, sorting out storage solutions etc. We've got quite a lot of work we want to do on the house too, so with that being said decorating our home is going to certainly take us time and a lot of saving up. 

When it comes to our bedroom priority wise we feel that there are other areas of our home that we want/need to get done first so will be decorated at a later date. However just because it won't be done for awhile doesn't mean that our room has to be boring. 

After renting for over 10 years we certainly know that accessories are one of the best ways to update a room. Bedding is definitely one of my favourite things to change in the bedroom to give the room an instant new look without being too expensive. 




As our bedroom is painted grey by the previous owners I wanted to add a subtle bit of colour into the room and the Ezra bedding from Room to sleep is perfect. The graphic terrazzo pattern in a Nordic colour palette is ideal for refreshing our bedroom. The contrasting colours on the face and reverse give us the versatility to style our bed in a unique way every time! 

The set comes with duvet cover and two pillowcases and is available in double (£55) or king size (£65). The quality of the bedding is excellent and you can tell that it's certainly a different quality to cheaper bedding sets by the feel of the material. Washing wise we have had no problems it's easy to wash which is a must especially when spending a bit more for high quality bedding. 





#LittleLoves February 2019




Wow what a busy month February has been for us! It's been pretty emotional for us saying goodbye to friends and family and knowing they won't be as close by anymore.  However after 10 years together, renting 5 flats, getting married, having Blake and so much more in between we are now officially homeowner's! We may have had to move away to do so, however we've made our dream come true and its such a relief to not worry about paying rent each month. We've had so much  going on this month with ordering new bits for the house including a new front door on top of unpacking what has felt like never ending boxes.

However saying that I have still had the chance to have me time so here are my little loves for February.



READ

We've had no WiFi since we moved in until yesterday which has meant no Netflix and not on social media as often. This has meant I got through 6 books this month. Not going to lie even I'm surprised I've read that many.

The self care revolution by Suzy reading 
A practical and down to earth guide on ways to make sure you make self care a priority.  It's a great book that I'll be dipping in and out of from time to time when in need a bit of inspiration. 

A Spark of light by Jodi Picoult
As usually one of my favourite authors has done it again with another amazing read that tackles difficult topics. This time the topic includes a gunman in a women's reproductive health care centre and features the topic of abortion. 

True places by Sonja yoerg
I found this one a but of a difficult read as was a slow starter however as I got more into the story the more I liked it. A girl emerges from the woods starved, ill and alone....and collapses. Suzanne is a stay at home mum who is unsure of her place in the world. Suzanns finds Iris who is not use to civilization and Suzanne invites her into her family life. 

Everything I never told you by Celeste Ng
Having read little fires everywhere last year I knew I had to get my hands on a copy of her debut book. It's a gripping page-turner about secrets, love, loss,longing lies and race. 


The Misper By Bea Davenport 
A gripping YA thriller. Just because it's a YA book don't be put off I found it to be a gripping and well written thriller you can read my review here.

One thousand stars and you by Isabelle Broom
Set in the heat, chaos and adventure of Sri Lanka Alice and her 2 friends go on an adventure to celebrate all of there 30th birthdays. Alice is meant to be settling down with her sensible bf Richard and struggles with an overbearing mum however once in Sri Lanka she meets Max who change her life. Such a sweet romance novel with beautiful descriptions of Sri Lanka that make me want to hop on a plane.


WATCHED

With no Netflix I've not watched anything unless you count sneakily watching Thomas Big world, big adventure with Blake whilst having a break from unpacking.

Heard

We heard back from the estate agent about how much we get back from our deposit from the flat. Luckily we are getting some back although am not surprised really that some was taken off for various things as it always seems the way with renting. 

WORE

My skin has become so dry recently so I've been making sure to wear a face mask once a week. I definitely need to find something that works though as there doesn't seem to be much of a difference. Does anyone have any product recommendations? Ideally not too pricey.


MADE

I ordered a Hello fresh box so we could try out some new recipes. Stuart is the cook though in our household and the meals we've had have been delicious.

I've been making decisions in regards to the house with things such as curtains and coming up with ideas for decorating. Luckily Stuart seems to be on board with a lot of my ideas although we need to start saving up a bit more before we want to go ahead with wallpaper etc. 




AND LASTLY..

It was our 7th wedding anniversary the day before we moved. Even though we didn't do much to celebrate we still exchanged cards and gifts and I just had to share with you this cute watercolour I had done for Stuart from  The Fox and the paintbox .




Book Review: The Misper By Bea Davenport

It's no secret that I love a good thriller, so when author Bea Davenport got in touch asking if I would be interested on reviewing one of her YA thrillers The Misper i definitely said a big yes. 




Title: The Misper
Author: Bea Davenport 
Blurb:
I knew this girl, you see. A sort of a friend. No one thought she really mattered much, but that turned out to be a mistake. Because she blew a hole through my life - and the lives of everyone I knew.' Anna's found the perfect friend in Zoe: she's cool, she's smart, she's goth, she's gorgeous, If only geeky Kerry would stop hanging around and cramping their style. They'd like to get rid of her. But they should be careful what they wish for...

Review:

If you are unaware the term Misper is slang used by the police for missing person. On starting this book you will learn that someone has disappeared but not who. The book goes through what happened up until the point until that someone disappeared.  This is where you fill in the gaps around what has happened in the lead up to the disappearance with each of the 3 main characters.

Anna starts a new school and instantly makes friends with goth Zoe . Kerry constantly wants to hang around with them however the friends are fed up of her and want her gone. Zoe then starts dabbling into witchcraft where things then start taking a sinister turn. There are definitely some tense parts in the story and I can in ways relate to the character Anna. 

Definitely don't  be put off that it's aimed at YA though as it's definitely a thrilling and enjoyable read.

I'm looking forward to reading more from Bea Davenport in the future.

The Benefits and Risks of Shooting Games for Children

Children have enjoyed shooting games for decades. Beginning with traditional "cowboys and Indians" before moving on to 1980's Laser Tag and more modern electronic marvels, these games are exciting and engaging. Still, it is important for parents to learn about the major benefits associated with shooting-related activities as well as any possible drawbacks. Let's take a closer look so that you can make an informed and unbiased decision when the time is right. 





The Advantages of Children's Shooting Games 

Many parents have been looking for ways to teach their children basic strategy. Unfortunately, most kids are not likely to enjoy a game of checkers or chess. This is not the case with shooting platforms (such as those associated with mobile phone applications). Children will be passively learning important techniques such as patience, visual perception and deductive reasoning. The good news is that these skills can be picked up within a fun and interactive environment. 

Many shooting games are based upon teamwork between two or more players. These very same skills can be applied to the real world later in life. Individuals can be chosen as a result of their specific talents and in many cases, virtual friendships may be formed. The interactive nature of these modern games cannot be denied. Let's also not forget to mention that many games are equipped with chat rooms so that competitors can speak with one another. 

We have only mentioned electronic and virtual games up until this point. Still, it is important to remember that there are many shooting games which can be played within a real-world environment (such as the back garden of your home). As a parent myself, I found it very important to ensure that my children remained active throughout the day as opposed to staring into a smartphone display screen. Shooting games were great ways to get them out of the house and to help them burn off excess calories. In a world partially defined by a growing obesity epidemic, such opportunities should never be overlooked. 

Possible Drawbacks of Shooting Games 

In order to be completely objective, it is a good idea to highlight some potential downsides to this gaming genre. Some individuals believe that shooting games will instill a perception that can lead to more violent behaviour later in life. It should be mentioned that this will primarily depend upon the game in question as well as the type of supervision that a parent provides. As a parent of two young boys, I always make it a point to closely examine any game before I allow it to be downloaded. Even then, I still might adjust the parental controls accordingly. 

The second possible issue was mentioned in the last section. Children who remain glued to their computer screens for hours at a time are not likely to receive the exercise required to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Furthermore, it could be difficult to develop real-world relationships as they age; some lack the social skills that would have otherwise been naturally acquired. 

Putting it All Together 

As we can see, there are many benefits associated with children's shooting games while a few drawbacks may be present. I believe that it is the responsibility of the parents to determine which platforms are most suitable for their little ones. The good news is that there are a wealth of websites which can aid in deciding the best option. 

Here is where I went to discover some of the latest games on the market as well as to obtain great gift ideas. You will be surprised to learn how many options are available.


*This is a collaborative post 

Fun Lego Science Projects for Children to Learn

In the ’40s Ole Kirk Anderson designed the Lego construction toys as a series of blocks that could be stacked on top of each other. The name Lego originated from the Danish language phrase “leg godt” which means “play well” and the Latin meaning “I put together”. The blocks were patented in 1958 and to date, about 4 billion blocks have been manufactured. 






The blocks are excellent toys to stimulate creativity and is suitable for learning children of all ages, while they play with it. The value of using Lego to teach children STEM subjects can never be underestimated and must be utilised to kindle interest in the subjects. The great benefit lies in the fun part of learning the different science subjects while using different Lego building sets and here you can find ones especially for girlshttps://www.starwalkkids.com/toys/building/lego/23-best-lego-toys-girls/


The different science projects for children are only limited by the creativity and innovation of their parents or educators. A search on the internet will provide excellent ideas and there are many “YouTube” videos available with full instructions. The following ideas can be used to teach children science using Lego products. 

Explaining Volcanos 

Use Lego blocks to build a base and a pyramid shape around a central tower of blocks, placed in a flat dish to contain the mess. Pour baking soda inside the central tower mixed with a few drops of red cake colouring and pour vinegar over the baking soda which will start the reaction. Bubbles and foam will overflow and the red cake colouring will resemble lava. Explain the forming of volcanoes and the chemistry involved when you mix baking soda and vinegar. 

Build cars powered by chemical reactions, wind or electric motor. 

Use Lego blocks and sets to construct cars that can be powered by different sources like chemical reactions using certain tablets, wind when releasing the air from a balloon or using an electric motor build from Lego blocks and parts in combination with magnets and wire. This can illustrate the different power sources and how they work. 

Building construction. 

Construction of different buildings like skyscrapers to illustrate the effect of wind, shaking during an earthquake and heavy rain on their stability and different foundations used. 

Civil engineering constructions like bridges, zip lines and cranes. 

Design and Build a bridge that can carry the weight of the children, a parent or teacher. Design and build constructions like cable cars, Zip lines using Lego blocks and sets with pulleys and gears. Use the Lego Engineering plans and different Lego sets to build cranes, to which you can add on as the skills level of the children increases. This can range from a manual crane to a motor-driven crane with advanced features. 

Town planning and construction. 

Construct a Lego town to teach children spatial planning, traffic planning and the needs of a community like traffic, etc. Incorporate LED lighting that gets their power from alternatives like solar. 

Lego Digital Designer program 

The great advantage offered by using the program is that it allows children to design their own project and build it with Lego blocks and sets. This program ensures that children learn the engineering design process at a young stage in a fun way.  



*This is a collaborative post 

Valentine's Gift Guide 2019

If you have been with your partner long term like Stuart and i have than you probably find it gets harder to know what to even get each other. Valentine's day isn't that important to us like it use to be in the early days of our relationship. It's not about the big gestures and full on romance anymore, so I decided to do a gift guide where I'd include items that are suitable for long term couples. In fact if you are single this Valentine's day you may even find something to treat yourself to after all self love is just as important.




Haribo Heart throbs gift box | price varies

Treat your loved one to a tasty gesture this Valentine’s Day with a Heart Throbs Gift Box from HARIBO. Filled with pretty jelly and foam hearts, this cute gift box is the perfect present for the sweet lover in your life.





Fudge Kitchen | Valentine's slab fudge selections | £17

Fudge Kitchen has been hand making fresh fudge in their seven shops for 35 years; using an authentic 1800s American recipe and traditional production methods. They’ve got rather good at it. Seventeen Great Taste Awards and one Food Manufacturing Excellence Award worth of ‘good at it’, in fact.The secret lies in the texture. Meltingly smooth, no crumbling, no grittiness. This is soft, creamy fudge resulting from cooling on authentic marble counters, while being ‘slabbed and loafed’ by artisans, theatrically turning sticky flourishes of sweet, warm fudge with spatulas to break up any granulation. They put a lot of love into every batch, so that you can pass it on. This year’s Valentine’s offer includes an incredible dairy-free selection to spread that love even further. 

Whipping cream selection … 
• Belgian Chocolate Swirl
• Sea Salted Caramel
• Lemon Meringue

• Raspberry Sorbet (Dairy Free)

Dairy Free Selection … 
• Raspberry Sorbet
• Vanilla Coconut
• Traditional Toffee

• Chocolate Classic



Build a life you love |The Winter Retreat| £17 digital £20 print 

The Retreat is a booklet that is bursting with motivational quotes, puzzles, sensory activities, evidence based self-care, money saving tips and much more to get you through the holidays. The Retreat follows a nine square self-care grid, and when each is nurtured this can help you to feel fulfilled and calmer. This is a perfect Valentine's gift to give your loved one time for a bit of self care.



Matalan | Be Mine Pjs|  £10

Give the gift of comfort this Valentine’s Day with this sweet set. Constructed from soft jersey fabric, this cute duo features a grey short sleeve pyjama top captioned ‘Be Mine’. All-over print cuffed bottoms complete the pair.



Matlan |  Babydoll and string set | £10

Effortlessly sexy, this red babydoll offers a semi-sheer appearance, adorned with delicate lace detail cups, centre bow decoration and slim adjustable straps. The babydoll falls with soft gathers around the bust, offering a slit front detail to show a glimpse of skin. The look is complete with a matching g-string thong, also featuring a lace detail and a pretty a centre bow decoration.






Superdrug/Anma Beauty| Passion Massage Oil| £9.99 


ANMA Patchouli & Ylang Ylang PASSION Massage Oil helps relax the mind and activate romance, leaving the skin soft and silky.This beautifully scented massage oil contains Patchouli Oil, known for its aphrodisiac effects, and relaxing Ylang Ylang Oil.ANMA Patchouli & Ylang Ylang PASSION Massage Oil has been specially formulated to help:
  • Stimulate and activate romance
  • Boost energy
  • Relax tensions

Victoria PlumBaylis & Harding  men's  black  pepper  &  ginseng  weekend  bag|  £39.99

For the men why not treat him to a Bayliss & Harding treat,  this weekend bag contains 200ml shower gel, 150g soap, 100ml hair & body wash, 100ml body lotion and 50ml aftershave balm in the blackpepper and ginseng scent. 



Mainline Mensware | Pretty Green paisley card holder | £30

Another great great gift idea for him is the Pretty Green Paisley Embossed Card Holder In Brown. A classic card holder with the front in smooth leather and the reverse featuring an embossed paisley design incorporating the signature Pretty Green logo. Two card slots on the front with an additional small pocket is situated on the right to hold the yellow Pretty Green branded guitar pick. A central compartment with entry from the top which features multi coloured paisley woven trims on the interior. 





Hello Moon| Personalised and framed Our Song Poster | £40


This 'Our Song' poster print has been designed to showcase the song shared between you and your partner. Perfect as a gift for Valentine's Day or as an anniversary present, you can personalise the details to whatever song you like, and see them live on screen before ordering.Posters are printed on a premium 250gsm silk poster paper, and are available in a range of sizes, with or without frame.

The gift experience  | Personalised set of 4 tumblers | £29.99

Getting a useful gift that both you and your partner can use tends to be our go to for Valentine's gifts. These beautiful set of 4 tumblers are  a great way to enjoy your drinks in style.Each of the personalised set of 4 coloured tumblers can be engraved with a message of your choice. You can choose the same message for all four or pick a different one for each. They feature a unique bubble effect on the base of the glasses. Colouring is within the glass and will not fade.






Prestige Flowers | Classic Red Rose Bundle | £39.99

Make a truly passionate and bold statement with this Valentine's bouquet of 12 Red Roses, complimented with splashes of gypsophila, fragrant eucalyptus and a palm leaf frame. Included in this Valentine's gift bundle is a delicious box of chocs, cute teddy bear and an air-filled heart balloon. Valentine's Flowers are the perfect gift to spoil that loved one with this Valentine's Day! You can even add on some extras such as these delicous luxury chocolates.








So Divine | whole lotta love/ afternoon delight bullets 

So Divine are releasing two new bullet vibrators to their range. The whole lotta love which has 7 functions ( 3 speeds and 4 patterns ) and the afternoon delight which has 10 functions ( 3 speeds and 7 patterns). Both compact and discreet they can fit in your handbag and be your little secret.