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Tips for an awesome Trolls Party

trolls party

Trolls Party

So it seems that we have all fallen in love with those gorgeous, bright, colourful characters from Trolls. In particular Poppy has found her way into many of our children’s hearts (even the adults)! This year we took Eden to see a Trolls in the cinema and she was instantly hooked. All the singing, dancing, bright colours and glitter made it an infectious mix. So I wasn’t surprised she opted for Trolls party for her 5th birthday this year.

 

Trolls Party Eden and Poppy

 

Here’s how we made our party Trolltastic:

 

The Entertainer

We had Poppy the Troll come and visit us from Fizz & Giggle Parties. Poppy was so much fun, she sung and danced and played so many games with the children. The kids were up and dancing the whole time both girls and boys. They played with a parachute, did the limbo, pass the parcel and musical statues. The kids all had a truly amazing time! Poppy even did glitter tattoos whilst the children ate their lunch.

 

Trolls Party Eden and Poppy the entertainer

The Decor

I think with Trolls definitely ‘more is more’. So plenty of colour, lots of detail and making it very busy. The cake table with rainbow tissue paper flower backdrop makes a great photo background for taking pictures on the day. The table was layered with a tutu skirt to the front and coloured foam flowers scattered on the top. You can buy tissue paper flowers quite cheaply and they make such a pretty and bright decoration. You can buy similar tissue paper flowers here. I also made a rainbow balloon tower with Poppy sprouting out the top. I’d never made one before and watched a video on YouTube. It wasn’t too bad to make but it involved ‘a lot’ of balloon tying!!!

Finally we bought some rainbow bunting from a local pound shop and hung it around the hall and some cheap personalised banners from eBay, around £4 for 2.

The food, cake table and backdrop was set up by The Party Kitchen. They did such an amazing job and we were thrilled with how it all looked.

 

Trolls Party cake display table

Trolls Party cake display table

 

The Cake

So the cake had 4 different colour sponges inside and was covered in multicoloured buttercream that I blended to make a kind of marble effect. Trolls is set in the forest with wonderful flowers and mushrooms so I added lots of brightly coloured flowers and mushrooms to my cake. I made them all different colours, I tried it keep it quite random. I rolled long strips of coloured sugar paste to create a rainbow and white balls for clouds. Green grass was piped around the bottom of the cake. To finished it off and I bought Poppy rather than struggle to make my own. I think she looked great on top of there.

 

Trolls Party Poppy princess cakeTrolls Party rainbow cake layers

 

The Food

There are so many options to make your food bright and colourful. Fruit platters always make a wonderful bright display.

We had flower shaped sandwiches, brightly coloured cupcakes and chocolate dipped biscuits with sprinkles at our Trolls party.

 

Trolls Party food flower sandwiches

 

The Party Favours

I knew I wanted to include a Trolls Pez in the party favours. Eden absolutely loves Pez and collects the different characters. I bought a mixture of 3 characters, Poppy, Branch & Glitter Guy. I made wands by filling skinny cello bags with skittles as they are such wonderful bright colours. I topped the skinny cello bags with multicoloured stars with a personalised sticker to match in with the rainbow theme. You can buy the skinny bags and toppers on The Candy Bag Shop’s Facebook page.

I found these rainbow popcorn style boxes and instantly knew they would be perfect as our favours.

I also popped in some bubble wands I found in a local pound shop, a Trolls keyring I bought on eBay and some chewy sweets. The kids were thrilled with them.

 

Trolls Party Party favour trolls pez and rainbow boxTrolls Party Rainbow party favour boxesTrolls Party sweet wands

 

The Outfit

I found this brilliant unicorn costume online which was brightly coloured with sequin lined skirt and rainbow arm and leg warmers! So much fun. Although Eden didn’t wear the unicorn headband. We opted for a rainbow colour bow instead.

 

Trolls Party Edens unicorn outfit

 

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Trolls Party

Memories, My Sunday Photo

My Sunday Photo – Trolls Party

My Sunday Photo

Well it’s been an action packed few weeks during the school holidays and whoops I seem to have missed a few of ‘My Sunday Photos’!

So one of the reasons things have been so chaotic is getting ready for my daughters 5th birthday. Not just her birthday but the birthday party that goes with it! This year Eden opted for a Trolls themed party!

Trolls Themed Party

I absolutely loved planning this one, everything bright and colourful, it was so much fun! What wasn’t fun was making the balloon tower. I stupidly watched a YouTube video, thought it looked easy. Some 2 hours later I was regretting the decision! Actually constructing the balloon tower was fine. It was tying up all those balloons and then tying them together that took off about 4 layers of skin on my fingers! Ouch!

Anyway I soldiered on and completely the bulgey, misshapen wonky thing! I also made a note to myself to not make that mistake again! Until the next time no doubt!

So ‘My Sunday Photo’ this week had to be one from the party (or maybe two). I took so many!

So this is Edens trolltastic birthday party!

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Family Life, Lifestyle

Getting some Mum Me Time with David Lloyd Clubs

Mum me time with David Lloyd

I had two main concerns when approaching the school summer holidays:
1. How will I get a ‘break’ during the school holidays?
And
2. How am I going to get to the gym regularly?

My usual gym routine consists of dropping Eden at school and heading straight to the gym for my workout. This works perfectly for me and I’ve worried about what I’m going to do during the summer holidays. My current gym doesn’t offer kids clubs that would allow me to train 4-5 times a week.

I think as a mum it’s really important to not only have family time together but actually schedule in some ‘me time’. I think I need it for my sanity. Constantly juggling working, parenting and home life takes its toll. Sometimes my brain feels like it can’t switch off so I think it’s so important to give yourself a break from it. For me, the gym is my ‘mum me time’ so it’s vital that I fit it in.

I was invited to go along to my local David Lloyd Club for some Mum Me Time so I jumped at the chance. It also meant that I got to take Eden along and take advantage of the kids club. Eden was super excited about this, going off making new friends and trying out new activities.

David Lloyd Club

On arrival at our local David Lloyd Club I was immediately impressed, such a friendly family environment. In the cafe and lounge area, there is a soft play area for kids to use along with computers and tablets. Allowing the kids to play within sight and the adults to relax. I could already imagine chilling in a comfy chair with a coffee whilst Eden played in the soft play area.
Mum me time with David Lloyd CafeMum me time with David Lloyd Soft play

I handed over a super excited Eden to kids club and went on a tour of the club. The facilities are amazing, a lovely gym split into clearly defined areas for training with brand new equipment. Large studios for classes, spin studio, indoor pool with children’s pool, heated outdoor pool, badminton, squash and tennis courts. Another nice touch is the not just male and female changing rooms but a family changing room too! Makes the awkward changing situation so much easier as a family.

I took part in a Synergy HIIT workout which was brilliant, really pushed my limits and followed it with a relaxing ‘Wellbeing’ stretch class. The instructors were both friendly and really knew their stuff. I can often feel self conscious in gyms and especially in classes but I felt totally comfortable and at ease at the David Lloyd.
Mum me time with David Lloyd gym

Mum me time with David Lloyd GymMum me time with David Lloyd Synrgy circuitMum me time with David Lloyd Studio

Mum me time with David Lloyd tennis courts
Mum me time with David Lloyd Me after workout

Lunch

Feeling refreshed after my workout I collected a very happy Eden from kids club. She excitedly told me about her morning playing football, doing crafts and colouring. We had a lovely lunch together, the food was of a really high standard with brilliant healthy food choices on the menu. Eden finished before me and got to enjoy the soft play whilst I finished my lunch in peace!
Mum me time with David Lloyd Food

After lunch we got changed and I took Eden for a swim in both the indoor and outdoor pools, we spent hours happily splashing around. Eden had a whale of a time and I’m looking forward to increasing her confidence during the summer months. Although she loves the water she will not put her face in the water without having a melt down so this is something I’m going to try to improve over the next couple of months.

Mum me time with David Lloyd Eden swimmingMum me time with David Lloyd outdoor pool

The months ahead

I can’t tell you how excited I am about making the most of the facilities at our local David Lloyd Club over the next few months. The facilities and schedule of kids clubs is brilliant. There is something for all ages at a range of times, meaning I can train all summer whilst Eden is being entertained. Even better the kids clubs are included in the membership, you can’t ask for better than that.

With a family membership it also means I can train with my husband. We are currently members at different gyms which means we never get to train together. I’m really excited about this, we will actually get some time together and they do say after all that ‘Couples that train together, stay together!’. I’m looking forward to going to the gym as a family, getting my ‘mum me time’, training with my husband and Eden having lots of fun.

Check out your local David Lloyd Club, they have over 100 clubs up and down the country.

mum me time with david lloyd

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Written in collaboration with David Lloyd Clubs but all opinions and views are my own.

Castles/Houses, Memories, Unusual

My Sunday Photo – Lullingstone Castle

For My Sunday Photo this week I have a photo of Lullingstone Castle. 

We visited Lullingstone Castle in Kent on their Fire engines event day. They had fire engines from all eras, showcase of fire-fighting history with over 20 fire engines and carts. They even had demonstrations of the engines in action. We had a lovely family day for my dad’s birthday. 

The Castle has the gorgeous World Gardens to walk around, with flowers and plants from across the world. The Moroccon blue room was my particular favourite. 


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Family Life, Lifestyle

Top tips for starting school -the reception year!

When you’re little one is starting school its a daunting stage. Here are some of my top tips for starting school – the reception year:

Top tips for starting school

Uniform

Try not to leave buying school uniform too late, by mid August you may struggle to find uniform in your little ones size. Supermarkets are perfect for picking up school uniform. They are super reasonably priced. I also wouldn’t go mad on buying lots of items with a logo. They are really expensive, so I’d just a buy a couple of bits and the rest plain. You can always add extras later if need be. Oh and look out for the ‘easy iron’ uniform, after all every little helps!

School shoes

Try avoiding buying their school shoes too early. You don’t want your little one growing out of them by the time they are due to start.

I would recommend making sure you let your little one wear their shoes in before sending them into school for a full day. Bad mum alert, I didn’t do this! Poor Eden was limping after her first day in school and had blisters on both feet. I felt truly awful, she spent the next two days in her plimsolls!! Oops!

Label clothing

Name all clothing even the socks! I’m not one for ironing on labels or worse… sewing them on! I don’t have time for that! What mum does? I used Petit Fernand when Eden started school. You can stick their labels directly onto the clothing labels, into shoes, on pack lunch boxes, all sorts! They are such a time saver! I’ve got loads left over for her dance uniform too!

I also bought a ‘clothing name stamp’ from eBay, it was brilliant for stamping Eden’s name on her socks and on fabric wash labels. It washed well and remained after several washes, plus it was super quick.

Top tips for starting school -the reception year. Labelling clothing
Reading with your child

If you don’t already, starting reception is a great time to start regularly reading with your child. I know everyone is busy but if you can build 5 minutes into their bedtime routine it will do them the world of good. You’ll quickly notice that after just weeks at school your little one will start to read. I actually couldn’t believe how quickly Eden started reading. I expected it to take most of her first school year but in just weeks she was taking her first steps into reading!

Try not to compare

Try not to worry about how fast your child is picking things up. It’s not a competition and every child learns at their own pace. It can be quite intimidating when ‘Jonny’ already knows all his phonics and is moving on to new things, but as long as your child is progressing then that’s fine. They will all learn at their own speed.

School Emails

Remember to sign up to receive your school letters by email (if your school offers this service). You’ll be kept up to date with all the school appointments and won’t have to worry too much about searching through the book bag on the hunt for lost letters.

Practise being independent

Practice being independent with your little one. I know it’s often easier and quicker to cut up their sausages for them or do up their buttons but they really need to be practising these things as much as possible before starting school.

Practice getting dressed and undressed for PE, zipping up their own coats, cutting up their food and going to the toilet and washing their hands by themselves. These will all really help your little one once they start school.

Keep relaxed

If you are nervous on the day try not to show it, some kids will go in without a backward glance and others more apprehensive. I actually wore sunglasses on Eden’s first day so she couldn’t see me cry. I know that if she did it would have unsettled her! Seeing you relaxed will definitely put your little one more at ease. Try to keep the goodbye short and sweet, let them know you’ll be back to pick them up later. Maybe avoid telling them you’ll miss them as could be upsetting for them.

Top tips for starting school -the reception year eden in the playground

Top tips for starting school -the reception year In the playground
After school

Try not to ask too many questions after they come out of school. I initially asked Eden lots of questions. I was dying to know how school was, did she make friends, how was lunch, what did she do! I never got anything back from her. I soon realised she was wasn’t mentally exhausted  from the day. The drive home was down time for her. I found leaving her alone worked much better. Once ready she would quite often open up to me about her day at school. Telling me things she was enjoying or even things that had worries her that day. For us I found giving her some space, meant once Eden had relaxed I heard more about her day!

After school snack

I found Eden was ravenous coming out of school so I took a snack with me for when I collected her. I wouldn’t dare turn up without one now! It’s definitely part of our routine. Some days she even asks for a second. I have to keep spares in my bag now just incase!

The big day

You’re all ready! Don’t forget the camera and the tissues for that first day! Afterwards rather than worry about it, go off and treat yourself! I rewarded myself to a coffee and a spot of childless shopping on Eden’s first day! Heaven!

Top tips for starting school -the reception year Edens first day
Top tips for starting school -the reception year cards
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Crafts, Family Life, Home, Lifestyle, Memories

How to – Scrapbooking for kids

scrapbooking for kids

Why Scrapbook?

I absolutely love taking photos of my daughter. I’m the first to admit that I do go a little mad taking hundreds of photos, I just don’t want to miss a thing. I want to capture every milestone, every trip, day out or funny moment. It’s surprising how much you do actually forget. This is why I want to talk about Scrapbooking for kids. It’s not only a great way to document your adventures but it is a brilliant way of getting your little ones involved too.

Photos

So once the photos have been taken, they are no good to anyone stuck on your phone or a portable hard drive! I actually want my daughter to see and look back on all those wonderful moments too. So each month I go through my photos and print a bunch of my favourites. I use two mobile apps that print your pics for free and you just pay for delivery. Each month you get a renewable allowance. I’m sure there are others on the market but these are the ones I use:

FreePrints – you get 45 free 6×4 free prints to use each month. Delivery is £3.99.

Snapfish –  you get 50 free 6×4 free prints each month. Delivery is £2.99.

Using your prints

So once you’ve got packets of photos arriving through the door, what next? I really wanted to involve my daughter so thought Scrapbooking would be perfect. Rather than display them in a boring photo album, I thought a scrapbook decorated by her own fair hand would be so much more personal.

Where to buy

I used to scrap book myself years ago and if there’s one thing I remember, it was super ‘expensive’! We didn’t really have many options to purchase decorations and supplies so it meant the majority of the products were from the USA making it an expensive hobby to have. The shops that stocked Scrapbooking products were also few and far between. Great news is, it’s now cheap as chips to scrapbook! We have an abundance of shops that stock really cheap craft items. Most supermarkets have a craft aisle now and pound shops have a great range of craft and Scrapbooking products. Every time I pop into a pound shop I buy a couple of packs of stickers or embellishments. That means I can add to our ‘stash’ without paying out huge amounts in one go.

Scrapbooking for kids stickers
What you need

Well, when you’re Scrapbooking for kids it’s best not to make it too complicated for the younger ones. We started Eden’s scrapbook when she was just two years old. We kept to using just stickers so she could stick them in by herself quite easily, rather than making a gluey mess!

First off you need a scrapbook album, anything between 8 to 12 inches is perfect. Thicker card pages are recommend rather than paper, but it’s your scrap book so your choice. The one we use was £1 from a pound shop and about 10 inches square. It also has a nice ribbon to tie the book close.

You’ll also need a pen to write what the page is about, a glue stick to glue in your photos and then some packs of stickers or embellishments to decorate the pages. I often save tickets and stickers from our days out and stick them in too.

Scrapbooking for kids what you need
Decorating your pages

Initially the control freak in me wanted to step in, takeover and make it ‘perfect’, especially when Eden was so small! I had to fight against my instincts and just let Eden be creative, in the end this is what makes them perfect. On each page, Eden selects which photos she wants to use, sticks them in and chooses her decorations. I normally just help out with writing the labels for her page, but I’m sure she will be doing this herself very soon.

Scrapbooking for kids Eden sticking

Scrapbooking for kids Eden creating page

Scrapbooking for kids

Scrapbooking for kids Eden with finished page

Some pages are of course more beautiful than others but each one is created with love. I treasure Eden’s scrapbooks and it’s something that Eden loves to do, she regularly asks ‘Mummy can we do some Scrapbooking today?’. I’m only too happy to oblige, I look forward to looking through them all in years to come and treasuring every captured moment together.

Here are some of Eden’s wonderful creations:

Scrapbooking for kids selection of pages
Scrapbooking for kids scrapbook page

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How to -Scrapbooking for kids
Em x

Memories, My Sunday Photo

My Sunday Photo – A Father’s love

I thought for My Sunday Photo this week I would honour Father’s Day and theme it ‘A Father’s Love’.

This is my favourite photo of Eden with her daddy. I think this photo truly depicts A Father’s Love. The look of joy on both their faces melts my heart every time I see it.

My Sunday Photo a father's love, Eden as a baby with her daddy

From a tiny baby until 4 years on, Eden and her Daddy still share an incredible bond. Sharing smiles, tickles and giggles aplenty.  They are both forever making each other laugh.

My Sunday Photo, a father's love. Eden and her daddy
Happy Father’s Day to a wonderful Daddy to our little girl Eden.  Thank you for everything you do for us both.

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Days Out, Family Life, Memories, My Sunday Photo, Outdoors

My Sunday Photo – Enjoying our beautiful city London!

Well it’s a sad ‘My Sunday Photo’ day today, waking up and realising it wasn’t all just a bad dream. It was real, our beautiful city London, that we love and enjoy has come under attack. Scarier still when we were there ourselves just yesterday.

What an amazing day we had in London, travelling on the tube to see 42nd Street. A dazzling show we enjoyed every second of it. We meandered around Covent Garden and strolled through the stalls at the Jubilee Market. We people watched, we drank in the sights, smells and tastes of London, truly indulging in and enjoying our city.

Those people that seek to attack us and bring us down are cowards. They cannot stop us from living, loving and appreciating our beautiful city London.

My Sunday Photo is of a gorgeous family day we spent enjoying London. We had walked for miles soaking in the sights, followed the trail of the Dream Jars last August, celebrating the launch of The BFG. We had walked along the Southbank that day. It was bustling with people young and old. It was exciting and new for Eden, we showed her the sights and we hunted for dream jars and what a glorious day that was.

Dream Jar – Ship of Dreams

My Sunday Photo, dream jar at Tower bridge London You will never stop us from living our lives, there are those that will try and break us but we will overcome them, for they are the weak. The cowards that hide and plan in the shadows and then prey on our innocent and vulnerable. You are cowards, you are nothing.

I am linking up with Darren @Photalife for My Sunday Photo.

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Days Out, Family Life, Home, Outdoors, Parks

The little things in life

little things in life

Planning the big day out

Sometimes we need to remember, it’s about enjoying the little things in life. Now, I’m sure we all love a good day out. I am often one to plan them so far in advance it’s verging on ridiculous. The thing is I absolutely love to have things to look forward to. I think I actually need it, I would go as far as to say I feel quite sad if I haven’t got anything booked in the diary. Quite often I have to wait months and months for an event I have booked. Every time it pops into my head, I actually get an excited little butterfly fluttering around in my stomach. I love it, I am constantly looking for ‘what next’! I even book tickets that I know will throw me into my overdraft, but hey ‘you can’t take it with you’ right?!
Not only do I spend months researching it and waiting for the event to take place… I also have to plan the ‘outfit’ for the event. I don’t know why but my daughter must be themed to that event whether it’s a full blown costume or just a complementary colour. I’m not entirely sure what compels me to do this, but months before I’ll be busy googling away, finding the perfect outfit to match our day out. I’m always thinking what would look like nice in the photos, always anxious to get that one perfect photo to sum up our day…. so if the outfits wrong then so too is the photo. Anyway you get the picture, I research, I book, I plan, I wait…. this is what I do, researching and planning the next fun thing to do.

The big day arrives…

Do you want to know something completely crazy?
Quite often, the morning of the event I won’t even feel like going?! I’d rather have an extra hour in bed, chill on the sofa or have a duvet day in my ‘Jim-Jams’. Even though the event has been booked months in advance, I’ve bought the tickets, I’ve felt the excited butterflies, I’ve compiled the cute outfit (even made it myself on occasion!)…
Unfortunately the rebel in me simply hates having to be somewhere at an actual time!!! Sometimes I feel like I can’t be bothered to physically go? What?! Ultimately I do go, I make the effort to get ready and make the journey there. I always have a lovely time once I arrive. It’s just the thought of it I can’t face, but once I’m there I love it. I have lots of fun, enjoy the time with my family and take lots of photos. One of my favourite parts of the day is the journey home and looking at the pictures I’ve captured. Wondering what ones I’ll get printed, upload to Instagram or add to a photo book!

The little things in life

The point I’m trying to make is actually, sometimes it’s the little things in life that are important. Just as much as the large flashy expensive big days out. The thought of having no plans at the weekend can be pure delight. A free floaty feeling with excitement and a glimmer of spontaneity. As much as I love a fun day out, the idea of no ties, no appointments, no-one expecting me to be somewhere at an allotted time excites me! Well, ‘I’m free’ and it’s a feeling I’ve grown to love. Maybe I’m growing up and learning that the little things in life are just as important as the big things. Often overlooked but in actual fact, those are the things that you and your children remember and love.
So here are some of our favourite little things that we don’t have to plan. We can rock up and do them whenever we like… we are masters of our own destiny!

Brunch at our favourite little coffee shop:

the little things in life coffee shopthe little things in life latte and spoonsthe little things in life coffee shop chairs

the little things in life eden reading
Play time at a local park:
the little things in life eden at the parkthe little things in life eden parkthe little things in life eden park
We browse some books at the library:

the little things in life library
We might even hunt for fairies:
the little things in life eden finding fairiesthe little things in life eden blowing fairies
Thank you for reading The Little Things in Life!
Eden’s wearing: Cream top and navy leggings – Next, Floral skirt – Little Bird by Jools & Denim jacket – Tu Clothing at Sainsbury’s.

Days Out, Family Life, Outdoors

My Sunday Photo – Bluebell Wood

My Sunday Photo - Bluebell Wood

My Sunday Photo, my little fairy in Bluebell Wood. One of the most beautiful times of year when the forest has a carpet of the prettiest little blue flowers. It is such a shame they aren’t there to enjoy all year round.

We are very lucky that we have a few fabulous spots to find the bluebells local to us. This particular spot is Norsey Woods, Billericay in Essex.  It is dense in bluebells and makes for the prettiest woodland walk during April year in, year out.

My Sunday Photo Bluebell Wood

My Sunday Photo – Bluebell Wood

 

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