With Christmas just around the corner, its time to start thinking about table top games for the whole family.
We were lucky to receive Gassy The Cow Table top game from Drumond Park to review. Gassy the Cow is suitable for children aged 4 years plus and retails at £24.99. You can have two to four players, which means if you have one child at school and one at home during the day you will still be able to play!
To play the game everyone gathers round to spin the spinner and the spinner stops on a colour of wellie boot, if that’s your colour you get to walk your boots, up to Gassy’s bottom and wait whilst the first player lifts her tail. If she Moo’s your safe but if she “poo’s” a cow splat will come out of her bottom if its a brown splat that is a poo but if its a yellow splat its a wee or if its a dark brown that’s called a “mega poo” and means your out of the game.
There is a space under the wellie boots to clip all the splats on to and the winner is the person with the cleanest boots.
It is a really easy game to play and I personally feel it would be more suitable for a younger age group, as bear got bored easily but Bell really enjoyed playing it. There were plenty of giggles and laughs from Bell.
The game is also super easy to set up it does require 3xaaa batteries. So its certainly a ideal game to play over the Christmas period.
I personally would of brought this game for a younger child I would say for a confident 2 year old, the packaging is really eye catching and as Bear said the picture is funny.
Where to buy this game? There are many shops which are stocking “Gassy the cow” the following are Smyth’s toy store, Amazon, Argos and Toys R Us. So why not pop down to one of these stores to have a Mooing Christmas!
I haven’t written or a while life has just gone very manic, I’m officially now back to work 2 and a half days! Also still trying to catch up with the summer holiday’s. I need to write about our week in Lanzarote. But Last weekend with all the manic going around we got a little addition to our family. We got Woody the kitten!
His so playful and active, Daisy isn’t too keen but Willow has taken him under her paw and is acting like mum!
He is certainly going to be a little character!
I have so much to write about with Christmas just around the corner and then its Easter where we are planning to be out of Kent for a good two weeks! We have already started to plan summer 2018 too! My aim for Summer 2018 is to spend as little as possible at home as its Bell’s last summer before she starts school!
So I will leave you with a few adorable pics of Woody whilst I update the blog…
We have recently spent the day at Drusilla’s Park in Sussex, It took us about an hour and twenty minutes from where we live to get here. It started of a really gloomy over cast day, but it certainly brightened up nearer the end of our visit.
When we arrived the car park looked very busy, but once we were actually through the entrance the only busy bit was the first section which was the iguana and snake area. We then went around to the Farm Yard to see what happens down on the farm and Bell and Bear even had a go at milking a cow. (Okay it wasn’t a real cow but they certainly had great fun pretending to be farmers!)
We then followed the path around to see the other animals there is a lovely selection of animals here and their homes looked really well cared for. The animals which were our favourite were the Meerkats, penguins, the monkeys and Marmosets.
There is so much to see and do here whilst walking around the park for the children and of course the big kids (adults!) from the Zoo Challenge to the animal spotter book with a trail to follow. There is also a soft play (Amazon adventures) if the weather does take a turn for the worse and a huge outside play ground for all ages, and not forgetting the water play area which is called Get Wet!
There are also lots and lots of information and interactive areas dotted around the park which certainly keep the children entertained and learning new facts and information about the animals.
We were very excited to be able to walk through the lemurs in Lemurland and walk through the Lorikeets in the Lory landing area.
When we last came to Drusilla’s Hello Kitty secret garden was still being built, the rides in Hello Kitty last a couple of minutes which is ideal for little ones and Bell was able to go on a few of the rides by her self which is a bonus! The rides here are little teacups, ride round Hello Kitty’s Garden and 25ft Hopper ride. Did I mention this is the first Hello Kitty attraction in Europe, so if you have a Hello Kitty fan why not pop down and see the attraction for yourself and if your really lucky you maybe able to even give Hello Kitty a huge cuddle, during the holidays.
One new area for 2017 is GO SAFARI! GO SAFARI opened in This is now were the old water park area was, there are two rides here, flying cheater’s, a hippo which goes up and down . Both the children loved this area, and they wanted to go on the flying cheaters again and again! Despite going during the school holidays the longest we had to wait to go on the rides was 2 minutes which was a perfect waiting time for little children. Bear and Bell kept coming back to this area and also wanted one last go before we left for home and the one last go turned into about 6 lasts go as they were both having so much fun!
I almost forgot to mention there is also a GO Safari African themed safari express train ride, where you can see a few animals and along the way you can also peek and see the play area and the water play area. Also there are jokes so do keep your eyes peeled and don’t forget to give everyone a wave as you go passed!
There are also a few payable activities which are available to everyone which are panning for gold, Penguin plunge and vertical limit. There is also a discovery centre which has lots of information and we saw lots of animal fur and goods which were on lone from the HM revenue and customs.
There is so much going on through out the year as Drusilla’s is open 362 days of the year from 10am until 5pm in winter and until 6pm in summer, the last entry is one hour before closing but I would recommend a good 2 or 3 hours here if you would like to see and have a go in the play park and the Get Wet Area. You could easily spend all day here, as there are plenty of places to grab a bite to eat or a coffee.
There is certainly lots to look forward to for the rest of the year here from meeting Peppa Pig, The Gruffalo, Paw Patrol and Meet Hello Kitty over this summer. And not forgetting Meet and Greet with Scooby doo over Halloween so don’t forget to bring your Scooby snacks and Father Christmas from the middle of November with Winter Wonderland Illuminations which is a daily light show at 4pm.
Summer is fast approaching and I was very egar to get some sunglasses sooner rather than later. The only difference was that this year I would have to get prescription sunglasses. Even though I have my reaction lens day to day glasses they aren’t that great with full on sunshine, and with our holiday to Lanzarote getting less than 13 weeks away the race was on.
I received a email from Perfect Glasses which is based in the UK , which is also a Glasses online retailer, who kindly offered me a chance to review for them.
There was a great choice of glasses, titanium glasses and of course sunglasses. There are lots of brands to choice from starting from as little as £27. There are lots of styles which are suitable for women in their section for women glasses and men to choice from which would suit everyone’s face shape and personalities. If you know the shape of your face there is a chance to try on the glasses via a few photo’s which gives you a good idea whether or not that style would suit you. There are even lots of designer glasses to choice from too!
The great thing about this UK based website is that the frames are discounted already so you could get a pair of frames for around half the price. They also sometimes have offers on, which makes the frames even more of a barging!
After having a long look through their prescription sunglasses I asked if I could review the Esprit sunglasses and they said yes.
The service was really nice and polite even though it took me a few day’s to get hold of my prescription from a leading high street opticians. Once I got my prescription to them I received them less than a week. The sunglasses came in a lovely sunglasses cases and they were well wrapped up with bubble wrap and a padded envelope to protect them from any bumps and knocks whilst going through the postal system.
The quality of the frames are hard wearing and good quality. To be honest I have heard a few horror stories about ordering lenses on line and that they won’t be the same quality as if you went into a opticians but Perfect Glasses has certainly put my fears to one side as the prescription was perfect and I could see clearly, read and drive on the one day of glorious sunshine we have had since I received them!
Perfect glasses also have a section on their website which offers a chance to get your current glasses to be reglaze. I will certainly be using this service for both my sunglasses and normal glasses if my prescription changes in the near future.
I really can not wait for the sunshine to come to the UK, I don’t think I can wait another 13 weeks to wear them!!!
We were lucky enough to be invited to Eagle heights. Eagle heights is based in Enysford in Kent, which is the ideal location to see the birds fly. At Eagle heights there are seven different types of eagles, three vultures, five hawks and two falcons. There are also owls and a caracara, along with the usual chicken, ducks, raven and few other birds.
There are also mammals, a few farm animals and sled dogs. I can’t forget that they have a small selection of reptiles too!
Eagle heights is the perfect size for families, its not too big and not too small, there is even a play area for over fives and a separate play area for under fives. There are plenty of picnic tables so you can have a picnic or a reasonably priced tea room. There are signs about warning that food shouldn’t be eaten during the meetings of the animals which are at set times during the day. The centre is buggy and wheelchair friendly. Viewing the animals is also suitable for everyone.
The staff were amazing with the animals and were also friendly and helpful to the public.
The shop, tea room, toilets were very clean and tidy.
We were lucky enough to meet the husky’s. These are beautiful dogs and they look so happy and well cared for. There are experiences to have a personal meet with the husky’s along with husky rides where you are pulled along by a sledge and of course camping out with the husky’s. I will certainly be doing this once Bear and Bell are older as it sounds amazing, marshmallows around the fire, meeting the dogs and camping out. I just need to get over my fear of actually camping first!
There are also eagle shows where you can see these amazing, stunning birds fly and learn all about them. You can also do experience days too.
There is also a Owl experience which is available, I am very tempted to book this for myself whilst the children are at school. Owls are my favourite birds.
Prices for the experiences start from £80.
If you fall in love with one of the animals, you can also adopt them, obviously they stay living at the centre.
Eagle heights is working on wildlife conservation in the UK, whilst assisting on a conservation project in West Africa. If you fancy popping down to see the animals, and learn more about how they are helping Wildlife conservation both here in the UK and West Africa, prices for children are currently £4.95 for over 2’s, and adults are currently £8.95, with a slight discount for over 65’s, students, disabled and carers.
Oh and did I mention the Crystal place eagel lives here?
Here are my top four reads for January and February 2017
Girl Online by Zoe Sugg
Why I choose this book?
I choose this book as its about a Girl who Blogs. I thought it may be funny and a good read especially where I am so new to blogging. I also think it maybe a light hearted read, just what I need after the hectic Christmas holidays!
This is her first book she has ever written, who knows after reading this I may have to track down a few more of her books.
Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
Why did I choose this book?
I have already read “Gone Girl” by this brilliant author so I thought I would give this a go.
This is a book about siblings and how Libby try’s to undercover the truth.
This seems like a Wonderful, atmospheric book with full of suspense loaded in.
Baby Doll By Hollie Overton
Why did I choose this book?
To be honest I didn’t. Hubs went to Tesco to buy the paper and he came back with this. It would be a book I would choose though. Its a Psychological thriller and I really enjoy these types of books.
Pretty girls by Karen Slaughter
Why did I choose this book?
This book was advertised in the local supermarket, the cover was eye catching and being described as Razor-Sharp plotting and detail. Really caught my eye.
This is also by a author who is The Sunday Times Number 1 Best selling Author.
We love craft and anything messy in our house! We were very excited to receive a parcel from the new Craft box range from Interplay UK . We received the Create your own Pencil pets, Fuzzkins Cottontail Cottage and the Animal Selfie Studio.
So lets start with the
Create your own Pencil Pets – Puppy pack
I am always worried about children’s pencil toppers as I have come across some really hard eraser ones which don’t do anything or some which are really flimsy erasers which break straight away. So imagine my surprise when I opened the box to the Pencil Pet Puppy pack. The toppers where not at all flimsy and were not to hard either but they are very sturdy and they also double up as a eraser and a puzzle too!
This is aimed at children aged 5 years plus but Bell was very excited to create her own puppy pets pencil as was Bear. They were so egar that they made one before they even had breakfast! They come in a set of two (one yellow and one purple) along with a pencil to match and lots of stickers and accessories to choose from. The stickers were of various collars and a good choice of circle shapes. The pack also came with some little hats and glasses which are made from PVC to jazz the Pet up with.
Bear thought they were great, he choose the yellow puppy and turned him into a Puppy Pirate! Bear loved the fact he could even swap the faces so he could have a purple face puppy with a yellow body but Bell wasn’t too keen on this idea. He loved the idea that if he got bored of his puppy looking like a pirate with glasses it was very simple to take the glasses of and also really easy to put the glasses back on if he wanted to. There were a choice of hats to but Bear didn’t think it would go well with the pirate theme, so he used a bandana instead!
Bell loved the fact it was a puppy! I’m sure she would of been happy to just leave her one without any stickers and accessories. Bell had a good look and she choose to jazz her one up to be a princess reindeer! Bell did need a bit of help with her one but it is aimed at children aged 5 plus but she really enjoyed making it, even though she had a bit of help from mummy!
I really enjoyed helping Bell make her Pet Pencil, it is a brilliant activity and even though its for 5 years plus I wouldn’t hesitate to buy this for a younger child. I also love the fact that you could mix and match the paws and faces so you could make a yellow and purple puppy if you wanted to. You can also buy them in pink and blue too, and their is also a Kitten range also. I think would make a good stocking filler as it isn’t as messy as some of the craft activities which are in the shops . It would also make a lovely birthday present for a school friend or a relative.
Fuzzkins Cottontail Cottage
The Fuzzkins cottage is aimed for children from 4 years plus.
Fuzzkins Cottontail Cottage is a little 3D book with two pages made from hardwearing card.
The first page is the living area with a pop up table, kitchen, bunk beds and stairs, the second page has a pop up tepee, chair, bathroom and sink. There are also fully opening doors through out the cottage. There is plenty of space to put the stickers which come with the cottage. The cottage comes with three felt tips.
There are lots of stickers which you can use to create your own homely feel to your little cottage.
The bunnies which come with the Fuzzkins Cottontail cottage remind me of the Sylvania families. The rabbits are very good quality and the best bit is you can colour them in yourself!
Bear said it was a bit girly when he saw the box, but he really enjoyed playing with this with his sister. Overall it has given Bell and Bear hours of playing, and creating little stories, decorating the cottage and designing their own little characters.
Animal Selfie Studio
I saved this for when it was just myself and Bear. Why? As much as I think Bell would of loved this too, Bear saw it hidden on top of the wardrobe and asked if we could do it when he had a inset day. How could I say no to that?
So Bell went to Pre-school, and me and Bear had mummy and Son time! Which I think its very important to have time with each child separately.
First thing was first was to download the app!
The app is designed to work with a tablet but can work on a IPhone, android, google app store too!
With the app downloaded we started to play with some animal faces, this app is so easy to use, even I can use it and I am awful with any apps, unless its Facebook .
The box came with a Monkey, Lion, Wolf Project so we could make our own Animal, to put on cards, a badge, bag tag or make a Monkey door hanger! This activity is aimed at children 5 years plus, I would say it would be great also for children aged 3 plus with adult help.
The animals came in foam pieces which can be stuck together by peeling the back of and easy to stick to each other. Bear did find getting the edge of the sticky paper bit off a little bit tricky but with my help I found the end and he continued to make his own Monkey door hanger with his face in! Bear also enjoyed making a Card with a Wolf stuck on the front as he thought it would scare Daddy!
(Sorry peeps Bear said no photo to that!)
We really enjoyed this, it was full of laughing and enjoyment. The photos from the app can be shared to Instagram , Twitter, WhatsApp, Snapchat, email and many more so you can share the fun with your friends and family too.
We loved all of these creative toys, Bell really enjoyed the Fuzzkins Cottontail Cottage, which she has taken in to pre-school to show her friends and Bear loved the Animal Selfie activity, which is apparently his own special game! I loved the pencil pet topper as it is great for a quick to do craft, Bear has taken his puppy into school and his friends thought it was great, I have had mums ask where it is from already!
Overall these are all well made and very simple to use and do, which in a busy family life we all need something which is hassle free to do!
What is a Spooky half term without Pumpkin Picking?
Bell and Bear loved pumpkin picking there was so much choice. There were little pumpkins and giant pumpkins! Of course Bear chose a giant pumpkin which I was dreading carving! Bell chose a sensible size one.
We went to a local pick your own, which is ten minutes from our house, we usually go their for strawberry picking too!
Bell had her first cinema trip and we saw Trolls at Odeon cinema , they were both very well behaved and sat so nicely, I even managed to loose the carpark ticket, which wasn’t good! But it was all okay the nice ticket man let me of the fine and I paid for the 3 hours we were there.
We went to a Halloween birthday party! We had so much fun! There was a entertainer called Silly Billy and all the children loved him and the grown ups too as he was very funny!
We sat in traffic jams!
Okay this isn’t typically a fun time, as traffic jams are awful at the best of times but with these two clowns traffic jams aren’t too bad!
We visited National Trust Emmetts Garden and rolled down the hill and went on a pumpkin hunt with some friends who we hadn’t seen in ages! This was very spur of the moment, and we all had a amazing time, and the weather was amazing for October!
The car broke down!
Need I say more?
We visited Coolings Nature Trail. We love it here, the children can run about in a safe area and the best bit they now have my favourite animals…. OWLS! It is also great value for money and we can go in any season.
We had a play date with a pirate! Okay not technically a pirate but a lovely little girl called H who Bear used to go to pre-school with, she is now in reception and Bell goes to pre-school with her brother G, so it was fun to catch up even though Bear had about 4 tantrums whilst we were there!
We were so lucky to go to Kent Life , to join in with their spooktastic Halloween event! The children loved meeting the animals in cuddle corner, playing on the bouncy castle, the play park, looking around the houses and looking for the ghosts. We also went on the tractor and the land train too! We were so busy we even managed to see a bubble show soft play too!
And we all know half term isn’t complete without the DVD, popcorn on the sofa day!
Here are some of the things we will be getting up to this half term!
Explore the outside
Learn something new
Have a breakfast or Lunch out somewhere
Visit A Castle
Visit the nature Trail
Make some Arm pit fudge
A trip to the Cinema!
Okay it doesn’t sound exciting but with Christmas fast approaching money is tight. With autumn being mild, we are able to get out and about and explore the local area a bit more too, as well as taking full advantage for our National Trust Memberships.
We will also be making some pictures to go into frames for relatives for Christmas presents, as requested by my aunt and cousin.
One thing which has always fascinated me is History. I just love finding out about the past and how people used to live.
Photographs can tell a million different stories, Louis Daguerre had the right idea he designed one of the early cameras in 1839, but their were two people before him who attempted to design a camera also.
Having Photographs can open so many emotions. It can open uncertainty, it can open happiness and it can open sadness.
I came across a photo recently of mum, she is sitting crying. I don’t know why, but I can tell from the photo it was when we lived in Downham and it was a beautiful summers day. Another photo I came across was of my dad’s dad, my granddad on a trip to America when I was younger his wearing a clown hat, and his eyes are shining and he looked so happy and relaxed. He was with most of his children and grandchildren what more could a guy want to be surrounded by the ones he loved. I also remember thinking I was the luckiest girl in the world to be in Disney! I think we went for around 3 weeks!!!!
I love all the photo’s I take of my two. I prefer the non staged ones where they are not paying any attention to what I am doing, where they aren’t being told to stand there and smile. I think they show the true personality of them.
Here are a few of my favourite photos, yes some are done by my amazing friend Katie. We also have some amazing photos done by the very talented Nicky at NPphotography who did our pre wedding Photoshoot and our beautiful wedding day.
Now these are my favourite un-edited, not staged photos!
If you would like to see more of my photos and follow Bell and Bears adventures please pop over to my Instagram account.