Tuesday, 26 September 2017

NETFLIX Now Says Happy Birthday

We signed up to Netflix (initially just for a trial - a successful one at that) at New Year during the Christmas vacation. Yes only this year 2017. I know where have we been!?!?! All of the #NetflixAndChill that we have sorely missed out on.

We've had a Smart TV since 2012 but when we moved house I didn't keep the bag of cables to make it go online in a safe place but that all changed at New Year as I bought the hubby a DVD player as a late Christmas present and it just so happened it was WiFi enabled. Somehow through it we could watch YouTube on the big TV and Netflix. This was life changing for us all and has lead to many happy hours on the sofa. Aaron no longer grabs my phone to watch YouTube, so I can play work on Instagram as long as I like whilst he catches up with his favourite YouTubers on the telly. It also means I get to really appreciate Stef's editing over at the Michalaks as it really does their videos justice. Having Netflix has meant we've even been able to have a smaller cheaper TV package as Aaron's more often than not on Netflix or Youtube now rather than traditional telly although he does adore Cartoon Network due to The Amazing World of Gumball. As for Lottie, she's now watching whatever we put on for her as she doesn't know any different although I did discover yesterday that Paw Patrol gets me some Mamma Me Time as she sat transfixed by 2 whole episodes.

I am online right now blogging 
to tell you about a new feature: 
drop the party poppers and cancel the princess, 
Netflix has an easier way to 
make kids’ birthday dreams 
come true, 
courtesy of Barbie, King Julien, My Little Pony and More.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) reveals that Britain’s most popular birthday over the last 20 years falls on 26th September, that's today, with eight of the top 10 birth dates being towards the end of September. After investigating the celebrations, Netflix reveals that two thirds (64%) of children’s parties are themed after their favourite TV shows or movies. In order to add that extra magic to the festivities Netflix is releasing 15 Birthdays On-Demand, where characters, from:
  • DreamWorks All Hail King Julien
  • Beat Bugs 
  • DreamWorks Dinotrux 
  • Las Leyendas
  • LEGO Friends
  • LEGO Ninjago
  • Luna Petuni
  • Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic
  • Pokémon 
  • Project Mc2
  • Skylanders Academy 
  • DreamWorks Trollhunters 
  • Word Party
  • Barbie 

join the birthday celebrations to make kids' birthdays unforgettable!

Here's a video to show the new Netflix Birthday Feature.

Kids may be the ones wearing the crown on their birthdays, but Netflix knows that it’s parents who are the real heroes on the big day. We know that parents often pull their hair out trying to think of new, innovative ways to beat last year’s party, in fact 70% of parents recently admitted to finding their kids’ birthday parties stressful... 

Well, Happy Birthday to you, mum and dad.

With this new feature, you Mums and Dads can simply press play anytime and anywhere, and your little one's favourite characters will sing them a special birthday greeting - made just for them (or so they’ll think). Launching in the world’s most common birth month of September.

Simply search “birthday” on Netflix to unlock 
a special performance from 
kids’ favourite characters, 
including DreamWorks All Hail King Julien, 
Barbie, Beat Bugs, DreamWorks
Dinotrux, Las Leyendas, LEGO Friends, 
LEGO Ninjago, Luna Petunia, 
Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug* 
and Cat Noir, My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Pokemon, Project Mc 2 , Skylanders Academy, DreamWorks Trollhunters and Word Party.

The best Netflix hacks that every parent needs to know:
1. Get to Know the Kids Profile: The Netflix kids profile gives parents peace of mind that their child is watching age appropriate content. Added bonus? The background of the kids’ Netflix profile is white vs. the typical black - this way parents can easily spot their kids straying from one profile to another.
2. Be the TV Boss: We know that when mum and dad aren’t in the room, kids may try to bend the rules for more TV time. By disabling auto-play, parents can make sure their kids don’t sneak in that extra episode without asking.
3. Creating Family Time: Parents can create a “Family Night” profile to discover content that everyone can agree on. Create a rotating schedule of which family member is choosing the movie or TV show that night and start a new and fun family tradition.
4. The Secret to Kids’ Birthdays: With 15 new Birthdays On-Demand, parents can take the celebrations to the next level by simply pressing play and having their kids’ favorite characters sing a special birthday greeting just for them - no cake baking all-nighter required.
5. Master of Thumbs: Did your kid watch All Hail King Julien on your profile and now it’s
flooded with kids content? On Netflix, removing those shows from your recommendations is as easy as pressing the thumbs down button.

My favourite things to do with Netflix are twofold. One, I love watching a soppy movie by myself when nobody else is around (I've enjoyed A Family Man, Me Before You and another that was amazing but the name escapes me right now). Two, I love watching a family movie, all 4 of us on the sofa (most recents being "Are We There Yet?" and "Baby's Day Out") and it's great as you can watch a movie as and when, which is novel for us as we've never ever had Sky Movies so we normally relied on DVDs and a movie being on the telly (at a time you can't control). But actually I have a third one which is that I love binge watching a series (think Prison Break - yes I was years late to the party). I viewed all of these episodes within a silly amount of days, like 48 episodes in 4 days or something like that. VERY soon after getting Netflix Aaron discovered a show called Little Lunch and watched Season 1 real fast and has watched every episode lots of times. I can't wait for season 2 to come to Netflix as it will make his day.

If you don't have Netflix why not?

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

They Never Told Me | Motherhood and Mush Mums

Me and baby Lottie in 2016
I'm currently part of the Mush Mums Marketing Massive and my gang have put together a brilliant video of the things they were never told about Motherhood. Due to the school holidays I didn't get organised enough to submit a clip but I've brainstormed my #TheyNeverToldMe below.

Watch the video though, it's raw and real un-staged clips from real daily motherhood life. A gritty snapshot of things you really don't get told till you become a Mother yourself. I've embedded the video below, but as it's cropped in a funny way you can watch it properly on Mush's Facebook page < direct link to the video itself.

If I think about what I was never told about being a Mum before I was a Mum, there's a long list. Here are 11 things "they" never told me. It's not exhaustive but it's the things that spring to mind today when I ruminate about it.

  1. I never knew that vacuuming would be such a huge part of parenting. Crumbs crumbs and more crumbs. Crumbs (ooops) when you're out and you've forgotten something critical and crumbs, edible ones, all over the house. This is manageable with Lottie as we have a corded and cord free Dyson but in the heady hormonal new mum days of Aaron I just had a heavy Vax which I never got out as it frightened Aaron, so crumbs were what kept me company till Daddy came home and begrudgingly dealt with them. More often than that, if it was fare weather we were out out out so the birds could eat the crumbs, or the cafe could sweep them up.
  2. I never knew that laundry would be such a huge part of parenting. I had a little normal washing machine that I adored, my Hotpoint Aquarius that was my first purchase in our very first (purchased not rented flat), but thankfully by the time Lottie came along I had a beast that washes 10kg thanks to a review I did for ao.com yay! I got through those early new Mum years by having a laundry day. Back then we did not have room for a tumble drier (we do now  thank the Lord) and how I managed was I used the local launderette driers. Rather than feel hard done by I LOVED it as it meant 2 loads could go in one drier and be done bone dry in about 25 minutes. So I'd bring 2 Ikea bags, which was 4 loads of laundry, to the drier, I'd fold it and put it away whilst still warm and the job was a goodun. Now years later, when I have the luxury of my own drier I seem to constantly have piles of clean laundry I haven't put away yet. What's different about now is I am a stay at home Mum but as a new Mum I went back to work part time and I'd focus on getting things started and finished on my days off and I seemed to have more routine. Just to avoid confusion I had Aaron in 2010 but got made redundant in 2012 and then not having returned to work again had Lottie January 2016.
  3. I never knew I'd need a King Size bed. Instead of decorating the spare room as a nursery for Aaron's arrival, I decided to decorate our bedroom, so back in 2010 I got Ikea Pax wardrobes and professional decorators and a new bed, with the theory I wanted a nice neutral space to breastfeed my son. I wanted a clear clutter free bedroom in neutral airy spacious colours and the time he'd need his own room (6 months) seemed like forever away. So I made 2 mistakes at this time. I should have got his room ready if only I'd have known that 6 months would fly. He then ended up co-sleeping with us for years. Plus, our bedroom was so so huge, bigger then in a flat than what we have now in a house, I really ought to have got a King Size. What was I thinking of buying a double. We now occasionally have 4 in the bed now Lottie has come along and a king size would be very handy. It's "there's 4 in the bed and the little one said...." "I've fallen out" and bless him that's usually Aaron.
  4. I never knew I'd turn into such a walker often walking up to 30 miles a week, buggy and all. When I was 17 all I wanted was to drive yet here I am aged 44 and more than happy not to drive, so contrary to the old me. The thing about being a Mum is sometimes you get cabin fever and just need to get out. Plus, people make it seem like you get your life back once they start school when really all it means is your days are taken up with school runs and for me the first two years were taken up with working for the PTA. But I've ditched that now ha ha! I needed SOME time to myself.
  5. I never knew how crucial it would be to have local friends once motherhood comes along. All of my work colleagues were a 30 minute fast overground train journey away, hubby was at work and family in Ireland. I literally wouldn't have survived without Sandra, Rhona, Dipa and Siobhan and I blogged about them here. I could have made new mum friends via baby groups but although I go to 4 a week now with Lottie as a new mum I didn't go to any. I didn't want to meet any judgemental competitive mums and had a few bad experiences at soft play. Ironically all the mums I now meet at baby groups with Lottie are nothing but lovely. Here's the commercial break in my post. Time for the adverts LOL. I'm now working with Mush as an ambassador and gosh it's been an eye opener. You download the Mush app for free >>> here and you simply search for Mums in your area or chat on the threads that will show for your area. It's such a fabulous free, non-committal way of meeting people and you can do it from your sofa at any time of day or night. It shows you the Mum's age the age of their kids and how many miles they are from you. Brilliant thing is you can change your postcode in your profile for whether you're staying at your parents or at home. Each time your local mums show up. You can choose whether to find a c-section Sista or a breastfeeding Sista or whoever you want really and all of a sudden you have a gang of Sisters from another Misters..... The reason I am telling you this, is it would have helped no end with my post natal depression in 2010/2011. I was reaching out to online friends when often what I needed was real life friends and Mush Mums become real life friends when you organise meet ups. The bonus, they're local unlike online buddies you may only see a handful of times a year. I really saw the benefit of real life friends when I made friends at the school gate as a result of Aaron starting school in 2014 but Mush was yet to come along. The app began in 2016 and so it's there for you now. An invaluable way of finding and meeting those Mums who may be just round the corner from you. Without knowing each others road name or town/village you'll see approximately how many miles they are from you. I'm even organising an event for them in a few weeks :-)
  6. I never knew that where my career was my baby that I'd eventually (post redundancy) be happy at home with a baby as a stay at home Mum. Had I have known this was ever to be a possibility I would have stopped spending £12 a day on food at work and put a lot more by for the future.
  7. I never knew I'd need a Sleepyhead Deluxe and to be honest I've completely managed without it, but having seen how life changing they've been for so many Mums I'd certainly get one should I have my time again and a budget. This is not a sponsored post in any way shape or form, but I just seem to keep talking about them lately or coming across people in online threads who could do with one (if only they weren't so expensive).
  8. I never knew I'd have plastic fantastic toys all over my house. I would now say to a new Mum buy a toy box while you are still pregnant, or better still buy those cubed shelves I've always wanted, The ones with fabric pull out cube drawers that all the toys and tat can hide in so you still have a minimalist looking room.
  9. I never knew that kids could get in the way of your relationship so had I realised that more I would have found a way of getting in some important date night in, during those early weeks and months.
  10. I never knew what a toll it takes trying to do too much by yourself, so from day 1 I would have been way better at delegating and laying down some ground rules.
  11. And even before becoming a Mum, with Aaron I wasn't healthy enough to get pregnant (I had implantation failure). I basically got pregnant naturally and then had a late heavy period where the walls of my womb weren't fertile enough to implant an egg. With Aaron in 2009 I used Chinese Herbs successfully to get passed this and so as to carry my baby to full term. Fast forward to 2015 and there was no budget for herbs so I did a DIY health route like this New Healthy Happy Me 2015 and it worked. Just before I got pregnant I lost weight and it really helped.
Lottie and Aaron this Summer

This post is not sponsored, but I am currently a brand ambassador for Mush and want you to benefit from how great a place it can be to find like-minded Mums in your area, of a similar age, or with children of a similar age. The app is user friendly and free to download and use. Link here.

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

FEARNE Cotton for Boots Mini Club Instore 30 August 2017

Fearne Cotton, Mum entrepreneur and celebrity extraordinaire has finished her latest project. The design and launch of FEARNE for Boots Mini Club. We were very lucky indeed to be invited to the exclusive press day. Yes, we got to meet the lady herself and she explained the design process she's been involved in for over a year. All her concerns for the range were those of a real life Mum. She wanted the range to reflect her style and to be comfortable, easy to wear, affordable, washable, good quality enough to be handed down, unisex enough to be shared with a realistic price point. It certainly has that, with Lottie's absolute favourite dress pictured below being priced at only £15 despite having an underskirt. You'll see model Arizona modelling it in my vlog below and I'm sure you'll agree it's a must have for any little girl's Autumn Winter 2017 wardrobe!
Bird dress Fearne for Boots Mini Club
The collection didn't disappoint and reflects both Fearne's personal style and that which she thinks works with kids being a Mum of 2 - a girl and a boy - herself. The collection of 31 pieces (25 at launch 30th August with a further 6 options in October) are items that Fearne personally loves such a faux fur coats, bombers and low slung trousers. In fact she loved a pair of leggings so much they had to make a pair in her size so that Fearne and her daughter could lounge in them together. 
Fearne For Boots Mini Club Faux Fur Kids Coat

Hear about it all in my Vlog of the day. Fearne is on screen from 3:12 in.
We were able to walk around a mock up showroom showcasing the range and this was a wonderful chance to mingle thereby catching up with bloggers like Counting to Ten, Scandi Mummy, Californian Mum in London, A Moment With Franca and Teen Tween Toddler The food and drinks provided were delicious but what really made the time in this showroom special was Lottie playing with Child Model Arizona. You'll understand if you watch my vlog but what a beautiful and patient girl inside and out. Her Mum was wonderful to chat to too.

Gold party dress Fearne for Boots Mini Club

Arizona models Bird Dress from Fearne for Boots Mini Club
Of course that room could only hold our attention for so long and then we were all itching to get into the theatre style seating area that would see us hear from Fearne herself. Thankfully she fashionably entered the room later than us all giving chance for photos :-) ever the blogger ha ha! I loved the practical way she spoke about the collection. You really have to hear it from the lady herself and watch my vlog. She's so "real" and "normal" if I wasn't a fan before I am now. Till now I was in the dark about all of the other projects she's successfully worked on too like a baby yoga book and cook book. Seriously check this lady out. She's storming on social media, at motherhood, at life!
NewMumOnline at the Fearne Cotton Boots Mini Club kids clothing launch
So of course, I was going to wait for a selfie with her. It didn't matter that I didn't have the foresight to book a one-to-one with her like *coughs* the Daily Mail et al but I was going to have my moment. I might have waited 90 minutes and Essex Kate was crazy enough to wait with me too but it was worth it. Do forgive Lottie's demeanour here but by this point she'd given up the will to live (or be patient) and I wasn't even disappointed in her as she'd behaved so so so very well even though I didn't have Aaron or my niece to play with (and distract her) as planned. I'd got a special dispensation to bring them but they got whisked off to the beach the lucky things and had a wonderful day out - I'm a fun Auntie so wasn't going to curtail their last minute excursion. But Lottie is as wriggly as a monkey stuck in a Dad's sock in this picture so to be honest I am just glad she is in the pic at all. Thanks for your patience Fearne and of course being that she was like that I couldn't even make small talk so it really was just that modern version of the autograph - le selfie - #SorryNotSorry #OhTheShame
Fearne Cotton launches kids clothing range for Boots Mini Club
We were able to take away a few pieces from the collection to review and given our rather Autumnal weather of late, we couldn't wait to try them. I rather love this pic of Lottie this morning at the farm with the caption Be Happy and Amazing. And the bee on Be is embroidered which is a lovely touch. The attention to detail on each and every piece in the collection goes well beyond the price you're paying to own it. Exceptional value for money I would say. Plus I am a HUGE fan of the now deceased Masaru Emoto and he claimed that you could improve water at a molecular level by putting kind loving words on it, so given the high percentage of water we are as humans, no harm having our tops emblazoned with empowering words.
Be Happy and Amazing Tee FEARNE Boots Mini Club
Today was actually day 2 of wearing Fearne. I was thrilled to see Lottie in a Fearne tee yesterday but she very quickly got an ice lolly all over it so didn't actually wear it long. She did wear it for the length of a photo shoot though she just didn't know she was modelling for Mummy. I just took a load of candid shots. Apologies that above and below the tees look a little large. Let me explain. Lottie is exactly 19 months but in many things is wearing aged 2-3 as she was born weighing 10lbs 10oz. But obviously 2-3 is roomy enough with it being so much older than her age. But Matthew the PR understandably rounded her up to 3-4 so that by Autumn she'd "grow into them". I actually don't mind as although it means they're not skinny fit, they do look gorgeous this baggy. So it's up to you what you'll want the fit to be like when purchasing. I'm sure you'll get a different look altogether if you go for the exact size your child is now :-) Anyway great thing is I reckon Lottie will still fit into these bits next year and that's fine by me because the quality will certainly see her through and the "look" is timeless. I love the refreshing colour palette that's been used for the whole collection. Not a bit of girly pink in sight.
Birds Tee FEARNE Boots Mini Club
Some final words from Fearne
Fearne said of her collaboration “It’s a dream to be able to combine two of my favourite things; fashion, and my kids. I’m a real perfectionist and the team at mini club are the same, so we’ve really pushed ourselves to create cool but wearable clothes that are affordable for parents too. Theleopard print hareem trousers are my total favourite – I’m going to try and get a pair in my size!” and as you'll hear from my Vlog SHE DID!
FEARNE is available online and in 100 selected Boots stores throughout the UK from 30th August. Prices range from £7 to £30.

You can view the collection online here www.boots.com/baby-child/kids-clothes-mini-club/fearne-by-fearne-cotton

Thank you Boots Mini Club for a lovely morning

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Dinomania at Bristol Zoo Gardens Review

We went to Bristol Zoo Gardens Friday, primarily to see Dinomania as Aaron's always been a fan of dinosaurs but little did I know the amazing effect the zoo would have on my little 18 month old Lottie. Especially as it was her very first time at a zoo bless her. She was in awe, she was entranced, she was captivated and she was ever so animated, all day. So if you have a toddler, don't feel that they're too young to enjoy it. Wow she was in her element. Lottie and her God Mother cousin are both growling in the pic where she is sat astride a Gorilla - Bristol Zoo is famous for its gorillas. Oh and based on how VERY beautiful the horticulture is throughout the zoo I now understand why their full title is Bristol Zoo Gardens and deservedly so. 
We looked at lots of animals and then stopped for a picnic lunch, but throughout lunch all Aaron would talk about was Zooropia as his cousins all did it during their last visit in 2014 and he was devastated he was too young at the time, so boy did he want to make up for that this time.
I detect a slight look in Aaron's face that now he has his harness on he is slightly unsure, above, but going round he didn't have any wobbles at all and was completely unfazed. At the end all he could say was that he wanted to do it again. I was just about to say no, but the team member taking his harness off said "a second go is half price" so yep, he did it twice. And loved every minute of it. Clearly! As this pic below shows awwww!
Our video of Zooropia:

Finally we started heading for Dinomania. A year or two ago Aaron would have been running over there, but now he was grumpy about seeing them as he kept saying "they're not even real" so I am so so so very glad I did not know that they're actually animatronics as it meant that this came as a delicious surprise. Bristol Zoo have brought the dinosaurs over, all the way from Texas and wow are they amazing. 
On reception upon your arrival at the zoo, admissions gives you a map of the zoo and a handout: Dinomania Dino Detectives. One of the things to tick off in there is "Have your picture taken riding the Pachyrhinosaurus (photo op) and we were happy to oblige :-)
There is a running track where you can check your speed and as the handout says "Test your speed on the running track. Could you beat Chas in a race?" This I would say was definitely Lottie's favourite part of Dinomania, but the older kids were running at Olympic speed (including my son, and 2 nieces) so we had to get her out of there soon enough as her toddling was in everyone's way but of course I got some good footage first :-)
I really wasn't kidding when I said that Bristol Zoo has parts of it that are like a botanical gardens. This bridge just blew me away and it's in the very heart of Dinomania's current home for the Summer.
The next Dinosaur we met on our trail was the Giganotosaurus, below, which we looked at for quite a while. As well as moving its mouth and tail it comes down low and goes back up high necked if you stand there long enough to watch the whole cycle. I don't think I've ever seen animatronics in real life before so I was as captivated as the kids. What they also loved was the thrill of running around and finding all of the dinosaurs. They're all sufficiently far apart that they got to hunt out each one and have a good sprint while doing so before squealing with delight "found one". You'll see this to better effect when I get a video up. We did this with the map so they loved looking up the name of the one we were now at. With our excitement to find them all we completely forgot about the Dino Hub Activity Centre and therefore stumbled upon it accidentally. Very glad we did as there was so much to do in there and the Zoo Ranger in there was fabulous with the kids.
We then found the 2 smallest Dinosaurs in the exhibition and I have to say I found these the most lifelike. Can't wait to see what my footage of them is like but here for now is the Stegoceras.
Next up the Chasmosaurus, below, which to me looks quite rhino like yet that's not reflected in its name. The fact that all of the dinosaurs are animatronics and therefore move is so worth it. Well done Bristol Zoo Gardens they're a huge hit with the kids.
Next is the Pachycephalosaurus.
We saved the best one till last, which was the dinosaur that spits. Oh gosh we couldn't drag Aaron away despite how many kids came and went in the length he was there. He didn't care how wet he was getting and kept goading the dinosaur to spit (spray water at him). He was in his element with the Dilophosaurus:
If you get yourselves to Bristol Zoo be sure to visit the Activity Centre: Dino Hub in Dinomania. Sooooo much to do in there and gave me a break from the racing and chasing of Dinosaur hunting. There's a great Zoo Ranger in there too and the conversations he has with the kids are very educational.
I don't think I can do Dinomania justice with a blog post so there's only one thing for it or rather two! One, I need to edit my footage and make a youtube video of our day and you, dear reader need to visit so you can see for yourself, how great it is.

I love this pic from our lovely day out:
Now I know how much Lottie just adores any kind of animal I really must make visits to the zoo a priority. She pretty much was like the below all day. Till she fell asleep that is 
Disclosure: our entrance was complimentary in order to review Dinomania.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

SS Great Britain Bristol School Summer Holidays 2017

From 22nd July to 3rd September there is so much happening in the school Summer holidays, for children, at Bristol's iconic ship The SS Great Britain. We were invited to the launch of the Summer activities last night to an out of hours social affair and my Aaron and Lottie were both absolutely CAPTIVATED.

They are watching:
Bristol-based Cirque Bijou bring a Victorian Summer Circus to Brunel's SS Great Britain. 
Watching Bristol's Cirque Bijou Victorian Summer Circus at Brunel's SS Great Britain
Above is their view from the upper deck of the ship itself. The Circus is at ground level. It's not quite as idyllic a scene as the photo leads you to think, as Aaron climbed up that mesh you see in front of the railings, so then so too did Lottie for the duration of the circus act. So rather than enjoy it in that adult way you can pre-kids, I actually spent it letting her climb to the job (holding my breath) while then gently placing her down, only for her to do the same thing again, ad infinitum. Luckily they were very well behaved before and after that, so it was a relaxed and fun evening, where each time I got distracted (or mingled) the lovely Jenni from Travel to Recovery minded Lottie for me
By the time the above pic was taken Lottie has had a costume change as the heat of the day was starting to cool away. Thankfully the rain held off till 8 o'clock which luckily was the exact same time the event was due to end. But speaking of costume changes you can get dressed up at the SS Great Britain which is great fun:
It was so much fun being on the upper deck, even though the circus act and the food and drink were at ground level, as it meant we got to meet all of the period costume people, like a Victoria child from steerage, below, and of course we were blessed with a great view. Not only of the circus act, but also there is a great view of Bristol from the SS Great Britain. I've taken pics with that fab Bristol view as a backdrop in the past.

  1. 1.
    the part of a ship providing the cheapest accommodation for passengers.
  2. We even got to meet a period Police Man from 1851 from White Chapel. I was fascinated as he's been a R
    eenactor for many years AND was a real life Police Officer for 27 years.
  3. The brilliant thing is, the things we experienced last night, were not only part of the launch (although we were treated to pies, ice cream, candy floss and drinks). You can see the Victorian Summer Circus Cirque Bijou all throughout the Summer holidays for free (after paying entrance to the SS Great Britain, entrance that will last you a year) and take part in circus skills workshops as below.
  4. When you are up on deck though, make sure you take the stairs/lift down to the lower decks as there is SO much to look at and my Aaron never seems to get bored of it. He loves the mouse/rat in the kitchens and all of the dormitories with bunkbeds. Also go below deck (before entering the ship) where there is a controlled temperature and lots to see. Despite visiting the SS Great Britain many times, we find something new that delights and astounds us each and everytime. Helped by the fact that the team provides supplementary activities that regularly rotate. Last time it was shovelling coal and meeting a worker from the boat's engine room, this time the wonderful circus. It's so worth a visit as like I said earlier your entrance price gives you membership for a year. Don't let rain keep you away, as so much of what is wonderful about the SS Great Britain is the lower deck cabins and the museum which are all sheltered. Bye for now, Liska xxx

  5. P.s. No doubt Jenni will be writing about the event too soon if only to say thank you for the candy floss LOL. Yep indeed she blogged about it straight away like me: traveltorecovery.com/bristols-ss-great-britain
  6. Was such a wonderful evening and it was so lovely to be at a venue we feel so comfortable in that the kids now know their way around. It must be a while since we've been to a bloggers' event though as when I asked Aaron to queue up for an icecream for him and Lottie he said "but Mummy I don't have any money" bless him. Thanks for having us SS Great Britain and we'll be back.
  7. It was wonderful to see Purple Ella, Sarah and Natacha too.

Monday, 26 June 2017

Ready Brek Goes on a Bear Hunt

We're Going on a Bear Hunt has been our favourite book for many many years. It was Aaron's nursery that first got me into it and I was amazed that Aaron was able to finish each line of the book at such a young age (2 years and 4 months) so recorded him doing so. Aww listening to that has made me all nostalgic for my baby boy Aaron and makes me want to hear little Lottie speak. Very soon after that video was recorded we of course quickly bought our own copy of We're Going on a Bear Hunt and it was one that came with a copy of the DVD, which literally animates the illustrations, perfectly!
Ready Brek and We're Going on a Bear Hunt
I've always been a huge fan of Ready Brek! In fact me and my Step Dad used to take it in turns to make it for each other every morning all through my teens. I had to be careful because I like it literally so that the spoon can stand up in it whereas he liked it runny. Actually even in recent years (well pre-2012 when I got made redundant) me and my colleague used to get to work early and make it for each other. Spooky but I have just realised that they are both Virgo (I think) so that's a funny lil coincidence.
Ready Brek Chocolate
I was delighted to discover that Ready Brek make versions for children as you can see above AND have teamed up with our favourite book We're Going on a Bear Hunt. Aaron likes to have his Ready Brek in his favourite bowl. A bowl he's had since his Christening many years ago. It also features a bear. The most famous of bears.
I recently had my friend (pictured left of me above) over and she brought along her friend, which means we had 3 hungry pre-schoolers for a play date pre-lunchtime. They were aged: Lottie 16 months, Arthur 18 months and Timmy nearly 3 years. I was very excited to get the Ready Brek Super Fast Sachets Chocolate Flavour Super Smooth Oats out. Being that you can microwave them in 90 seconds I knew my guests would barely notice that their hostess had disappeared inside for a moment. Whilst they supervised the kids playing with water in the garden (we've had a heatwave don't you know) I snuck in and microwaved some oats for our 3 Bears. Yes just call me Goldilocks:
I was pleased that like me, the 2 other Mums also licked the spoon and discovered what I had done with Lottie - that it tastes delicious. Also..... as one Mum pointed out. NOT TOO SWEET! And interestingly she knew it would be because it contains cocoa and it does. So the verdict was that Lottie ate about half (it's very filling). I was thrilled as it means I got to finish it. Arthur at 18 months ate it all as well as a banana but he took probably 30 minutes to eat it, grazing on it on and off. I don't think his Mum got a look in. Timmy who will be 3 years of age soon, was the biggest bear and wanted seconds, but his Mum was polite and didn't let me make it. You'll see above I gave him the biggest spoon to distinguis him from the "babies". Try this Ready Brek for yourself it really really is yummy. Oh and don't fret about measuring the 125 mls (of milk or water) you just fill the sachet up to the fill line and in it pops. Forgive me that I don't have pics of the kids eating it, but us Mummies were focusing on keeping very busy little ones in one place to eat and I didn't have their permission to feature pics (plus I was too shy to ask).
So in celebration of the collaboration between Ready Brek and We're Going on a Bear Hunt, Lottie, Aaron and I went on our very own Bear Hunt today and as with the book we started with the 

Long Wavy Grass

Uh-uh! Grass! Long wavy grass! We can't go over it! We can't go under it! Oh no we've got to go through it.

On the back of the Ready Brek cereal is a brilliant cut out which helps you to create your very own Bear Hunt.
We actually didn't stick to the order on the cut-out as walking through grass is number 3 and building a cave is number 7. But we did very well as it only says to "imagine walking through long grass" whereas as you can see above we had a lot of fun doing so for real on the way back from church this morning. Our cave followed very soon after. It was an imaginary one in the sense that it was a tunnel, but we definitely went "through it" ;-) Aaron very much striving well ahead on his scooter, going through the cave well before a walking Mummy and a snoozing Lottie:
Put on your wellies is actually number 2 and we did that when we got home from Church except one wellie was downstairs and one was upstairs (glares at Aaron) so it was an adventure in itself just to find them GGgggggrrr, in this case I am the bear and I am a grizzly growling one! 

With wellies on it was time to find a 

Deep Cold River

The cut out on the back of Ready Brek asks the kids to find a puddle and see who can splash the most. Well even though our heatwave is over since Wednesday night, we don't have any puddles but we did have a murky old paddling pool that needed emptying so we created our very own river with a little bit of water and a lot of imagination. We emptied the paddling pool (which needed doing anyway so we could clean it ready for the next heatwave whenever that may be) and turned it into our Bear Hunt river:

The Bear Hunt on the back of the box of Ready Brek concludes with the words Yum Yum so we took that as a sign Aaron had now earned a bowl of Ready Brek. He didn't get a look in with the Chocolate sachets as all of them were long gone during school hours in days gone by (looks at Lottie) so he had his exactly as it shows on the box - with strawberries - which conveniently he'd chosen in the weekly food shop a few days ago. He also added honey as what bear doesn't like honey :-)

Brand new Ready Brek packs featuring beautiful artwork from the We're Going On A Bear Hunt film are in store now. Each pack comes complete with an original Bear Hunt Guide on the back, suggesting games and activities showing kids how to go on their very own bear hunt swishy-swashing through grass and splash-sploshing through puddles. Packs also include on the back a delicious recipe, with 3 different ones to collect: Bear Hunt Banana Muffins, Protein-packed Bear Hunt Bites and Bear Hunt Blueberry and Apple Flapjacks which are all nutritionally balanced, energy boosting snacks that will keep little adventurers going.

The We're Going on a Bear Hunt Ready Brek pack to buy is one that looks like this, below. As you will see, top right corner, all of the ingredients are green traffic light rated. This for me, especially with breakfast cereal which sets them up for the day, is very important.
Ready Brek we're going on a bear hunt
Ready Brek is made from finely milled wholegrain oats and flour, vitamins and minerals, with no added salt or sugar. Packed with Calcium for healthy bones and teeth, Vitamin D for a healthy immune system, Protein for healthy muscles and oats for healthy digestion, along with Iron, Vitamin B1, B6 and B12, Ready Brek delivers a super smooth and nutritious start to the day.

For this We're Going on a Bear Hunt adventure we were sent both of the Ready Brek boxes you see featured above: Ready Brek Original Super Smooth Oats and a box of 6 of the Super Fast Sachets Chocolate Ready Brek. I was delighted that we also received:

We're Going on A Bear Hunt My Explorer's Journal and
We're Going on A Bear Hunt My Adventure Field Guide.

These books are so super I think I will include them in their very own blog post. You can see the spines of them in the very first photo at the top of this blog post.