Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Easter Toys Gift Guide for Preschoolers

It's true, Easter can't compare to Christmas
atmosphere & cosiness wise,
but that doesn't mean gifting
should be reserved only for the Big Guy in Red.

The Easter Bunny has decided to leave some parcels
in the garden next to the chocolate eggs
and he has already made his choice of fun, educational
and, most importantly, gender-neutral toys.

Gender neutral toys for preschoolers

1. Count Along Till from Leapfrog

A fun, educational toy that my kids love;  
this cash register, complete with coins and groceries,  
is a great and entertaining way to introduce toddlers 
to counting and early money skills. 

The till comes in a big box with colourful groceries, 
which include a variety of healthy foods, 
and are ideal for playing 'Supermarket' at home 
and for expanding children's imagination through pretend play.

The interactive cash register talks, sings, lights up and counts along; 
it will have your little one hooked and playing for hours.

The best bit: the coin slot to feed the cash register 
once you have scanned your groceries.

2. Baby Brother Doll from Baby Annabell

Who said boys can't play with dolls? 
Baby Annabell has just launched a new range 
of their interactive baby dolls for boys and girls, 
and my littlest one hasn't left his new doll from his side!

With its realistic sounds and movements 
{it cries real tears, burps, yawns, 
goes to sleep and even wets its nappies}, 
this doll is perfect for enhancing imaginative play 
and developing children's social skills.

The Baby Brother doll is dressed in a cute blue romper 
and comes in a big box with five accessories, 
making it the perfect gift.  

Best bit: the Baby Brother can also use the potty;  
he is the ideal companion for children who are being toilet trained. 

3. Leaping Letters from Leapfrog

Another fun educational game from Leapfrog,
ideal for children in Early Years
who are just starting to learn to read.

Equipped with a board, letters and a timer,
the aim of this game is to place quickly
all the letters in the correct spots before they pop.

As a next step, there are word cards
for children to form words on the board

It is an amusing game to be played by all the family
which will familiarise children with the alphabet
in an engaging way.

The best bit: when the board pops the letters;
you can see it coming, but it's funny every time.

1. Count Along Till, Leapfrog, RRP £14,99, 18+ months
2. Baby Brother, Baby Annabell, RRP £54,99, 3+ years
3. Leaping Letters, Leapfrog, RRP £14.99, 4+ years

Disclosure: All items were gifted for review purposes.
All views and wording my own.

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Mother's Day: the Homemade Breakfast

In case you hadn't noticed all the cards and pretty bouquets 
at your supermarket's checkout tills, 
Mother's Day is fast approaching here in the UK. 

On the 26 March 2017, 
mums are in for a day of treats and love, 
and what would be better than to start off that day 
with the best homemade breakfast? 

Let me tell you, 
as much as I love a good restaurant meal on Mother's Day, 
nothing beats a lie in and a delicious breakfast, 
complete with flowers and a small{ish} gift. 

So, dads and kids, here are some tips on how to prepare 
the best homemade breakfast for Mother's Day 
and make her feel very special. 

Mother's Day Homemade Breakfast Ideas

The Food 
The key to culinary success is to keep it simple and easy, 
especially if you are preparing mum's breakfast with the children. 

A warm batch of croissants with small pots of jam, 
a freshly squeezed orange juice and a nice cup of coffee/tea 
make a delicious breakfast.

The Presentation
Get the breakfast tray looking like a posh hotel's 
with these fairly easy steps. 

Place a one or two flowers in a small vase, 
get your fine china and silver cutlery out 
{picture: *monogrammed fine china plate 
and *engraved silver plated spoon and knife}, 
and don't forget a linen napkin and a card!

The Gift 
Dear dads, the Mother's Day gift doesn't have to cost a fortune, 
but it can't be the children's school creation either.

My advice: one can't get it wrong with personalised gifts; 
I've yet to meet a person who wouldn't want to receive 
something with their name on
{for instance, this *personalised Ladybird book is fun, original 
and won't break the bank at £12.99}. 

Monogrammed fine china plate £14.99, Silver plated spoon £21.99, Silver plated butter knife £14.99 and Personalised Ladybird book £12.99 all from

Disclosure: Items marked with * were gifted.
All wording and opinions my own.

Monday, 20 February 2017

David Gibb's Seriously Good Music for Children

We love our music in this house. 
There is always a tune playing on our Alexa in the kitchen, 
although most of the times it's children's rhymes and music. 

Which, I hate to admit,  
can have a bit of nerve racking effect on adults, 
especially if you listen to it on loop 
{as much as one can like Sleeping Bunnies
it can get a bit too much after the 18th time}.  

So, when David Gibb contacted me 
to send us his music and invite us to his concert, 
I was pleasantly surprised to discover 
that his music was very different from what we are used to. 

A review of David Gibb's music for children

You see, David Gibb was frustrated 
at the lack of high quality music for children, 
and set out to create an album aimed at families 
with lovely lyrics and quality musicianship at its heart. 

This very tall award winning songwriter and storyteller 
had his music played on BBC Radios,  
performed at Glastonbury Festival, 
and played over 400 concerts.  

And let me tell you, his music is seriously good. 
Inspired by folk music, 
the songs themes feature dragons in bedrooms, 
dreams about swimming in the sea, 
and monkeys swinging in trees. 

David Gibb children's music review

Lyrics are imaginative and telling stories, 
which makes one's mind travel with them. 
Melodies are refreshingly high quality ones, 
using a wide array of instruments, 
and will have you taping along with them. 

You can have a listen to his music over on his website 
and look out for his concert dates; 
his high energy stage presence and lovely music 
will delight both kids and grown-ups. 

In a nutshell: seriously good music for children 
that is actually fun for parents too. 

Find out more about David Gibb's music here

Disclosure: We were invited to David's concert. 
All views and wording my own. 

*All images courtesy of David Gibb.

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

February Half Term in London

It's that {dreaded} time of the year again;  
the February half term is upon us, parents. 

Planning lots of fun activities for children 
is the only proven way to keep a bit of sanity 
and maybe to enjoy a *hot* cup of coffee. 

Luckily, London has lots going on this February for families, 
so get out your calendar and start planning!

Half-term activities in London

Family Festival at the Tate Britain

For the art loving families, 
Tate Britain's galleries will be transformed into 
a playing ground on the 11 and 12 February. 

On the menu are artist-led performances, dance, music, 
that will allow children to play with art, architecture and other children.
Plus, there will also be a giant game of catch
and a futuristic journey in 2217!

The festival is FREE of charge 
and runs on the 11 and 12 February 
from 11:00 to 16:00.

Workshops at the Museum of London Docklands

One of London's most family-friendly museums, 
the Museum of London Docklands, 
will be hosting a transport themed array of workshops 
that will have the little ones beeping with joy. 

My top picks are the Set Sail workshop, 
where children will learn about the Cutty Sark 
and build the ship's model to take home, 
and the All Aboard where we'll get to create 
a whole range of train carriages. Choo Choo!

All workshops are FREE drop-in 
and aimed at children over 5 years. 

Orchids Festival at Kew Gardens

This February half-term, the amazing Kew Gardens 
are inviting families to celebrate India's rich culture 
with an array of colourful activities. 

There will be block printing, leaf colouring, face painting 
and, of course, the massive gardens for children to run 
and admire nature at its best. 

Most of the activities are free (except from the face painting) 
and drop-in, so no need to book in advance. 
Entry to Kew Gardens costs £3.50 for children over 3 years. 

Tate Britain family festival, more info here
Museum of London Docklands workshops, read more
Kew Gardens half term activities

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

A Day in London: The Tube Delays

London is famous for lots of things: 
its quaint pubs, its rainy weather, 
Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, 
and for its notorious Underground. 

Also known as The Tube. 

Riding the Tube in London is one of the best options 
for tourists and visitors who are visiting the capital
it has an extensive network, 
meaning one can get pretty much everywhere in London with it, 
and the daily cap on the ticket makes it the most affordable way of transport.

On the other hand, things are not so bright 
for Londoners travelling during rush hour with the Tube.
In fact, it's a source of daily misery for commuters, 
who face delays and overcrowding almost everyday. 

Tube Delays in London

As this infographic shows, 
the average working Londoner 
spends over 11 days commuting per year, 
five of which are spent in the underground tunnels. 

Pretty grim, right? 

We know first hand the reality of the Tube delays, 
as Mr K is doing a daily commute of 90 minutes: 
he is spending his mornings rushing to catch an overcrowded train 
in hopes that there will only be 'Good Service' announcements, 
the boys see their daddy less, 
and I spend my evenings checking the Tube's Twitter feed 
to see if he will be back on time.

This is why we introduced the WFH {Work From Home} day, 
and it has been a real game changer.

With teleworking and flexible working being much easier nowadays, 
people can reclaim at least three hours of their life per month
simply by working from home one day a week; 
which they can then spend doing far more enjoyable things 
than staring at their smartphones in a packed train. 

Tube Delays infographic, A Mum in London

Infographic from GoToMeeting UK Blog: find tips and advice about working from home

Disclosure: Collaborative post.
All views and wording my own.
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