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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

Thank you for reading ‘How to – Scrapbooking for kids’.

Pin me for later

How to -Scrapbooking for kids
Em x

Days Out, Home, Outdoors, Theme Parks

Making the most of our Annual Merlin Passes!

Merlin Passes - Eden on a ride

The Merlin Passes

So this year I’ve saved up all of my Tesco clubcard points to get Annual Merlin Passes. We also paid the £50 extra to upgrade them to premium passes! You can also purchase them direct from their website and occasionally have discounts throughout the year. This means we can visit 32 attractions in the UK free for a year!

These include:

Alton Towers Resort

Chessington World of Adventures Resort

LEGOLAND® Windsor Resort

THORPE PARK Resort

The London Eye

Dream world Tours – Shrek Adventure London to name but a few!

Perks

You also get 20% off food and purchases at the parks and 50% off friends and family tickets! Which is a brilliant saving in itself. With the premium pass we can also use them across all dates in the six weeks holidays and we get free parking at some of the attractions!

I feel like I am now on a mission to make the most from the passes and pack in as much as we can.

Legoland

Our first trip using our Merlin Passes was to Legoland! I’ve always wanted to take Eden. Every time it’s advertised on the telly Eden has asked to go, so this was our priority.

We went on a weekend so did expect it to be busy. It was also a Star Wars themed day so I imagine busier than usual. This didn’t seem to be much of a problem though. Many of the queues had Lego to play with while you waited, so even though there were queues, Eden was entertained. If she wasn’t playing with Lego she was meeting new friends to play with.

Merlin Passes - Eden with lego family characters
By far our favourite rides were The Dragon, a super fun (but not too scary) roller coaster and Fairy Tale Brook. A lovely little river ride with Lego characters bringing the fairytales to life. Eden loved spotting all the characters she recognised.

Merlin Passes eden on boat ride with seven dwarves

Merlin Passes eden on boat ride with seven dwarves

Merlin Passes Eden on a ride
We also really enjoyed walking around seeing the Lego model village, exploring all of the different countries. It was a nice relaxing downtime, rather than going on ride after ride.

Merlin Passes view Lego model villageMerlin Passes  Lego model villageMerlin Passes Model of London in Lego
We found plenty of options to eat and snack around the park. Most importantly a good Costa coffee to keep our energy supplies up! In all we had a great day at Legoland and are actually going back again this weekend.

Merlin Passes  Lego book What Secrets awaitMerlin Passes  Eden and Lego friends
Chessington World of Adventures

Next we popped along to Chessington World of Adventures at the end of the kids half term. I was so excited to introduce Eden to the Vampire Ride. I prayed that she would be tall enough to go on it! She is quite a dare devil and doesn’t seem to be the least bit afraid of any rides.

Unfortunately due to an accident en route we arrived a bit later than expected around 11.45am. We were hoping that as the majority of schools had returned to school that day that it would be quiet. Sadly not! Queue times for the more popular rides were 65-75mins.

It’s a real shame they don’t offer time based tickets like they do at somewhere like Disneyland Paris. You go take a ticket and return when it’s your time slot and enter via fastrack queue. In the end we decided to bite the bullet and purchase fastrack passes. It cost an additional £36 for 3 of us to go on just two rides. If you had already paid park entry, it can work out quite expensive.

Fast Track Passes

We bought a fast track pass for the new Gruffalo ride which worked really well and we passed the 60 minute queue and were on the ride within about 10-15 mins, absolutely worth it. Unfortunately even with the fastrack pass we still queued for 30mins for the Vampire ride. Totally worth the wait though. Eden absolutely loved it. It was actually so much faster than I remembered it being, although it was maybe 15 years ago!

Merlin Passes Gruffalo river ride

Merlin Passes Gruffalo river ride

Merlin Passes Vampire ride at ChessingtonMerlin Passes Chessington world of adventures vampire ride
We did find that some of the queue times estimated were a little way off and were longer than anticipated. So we didn’t get to go on as many rides as we would have liked. Those we did go on, we enjoyed tremendously.

Food

We ate a great restaurant in the park, a BBQ Smokehouse. The food was BBQ meats and they even had Sweet Potato fries as a side. So eating Low carb wasn’t a problem here. I normally struggle to find LCHF friendly foods on days out. The meal was amazing, served in a basket but tasted delicious! We all really enjoyed it!

Merlin Passes BBQ food

Merlin Passes chessington snake
The park has really changed over the years and it is really well themed throughout. We did find the map really confusing and quite difficult to read but we loved the app that gave you directions and up to the minute queue times!

We also enjoyed visiting all the animals, especially at the petting farm and seeing them on Zafari!

Merlin Passes rhino on zafari
The next adventure

Next up on our Merlin Pass adventure will be Shrek Adventure in London, a blog post will follow. We also have a hotel booked for the Summer holidays so we can visit Alton Towers. Very exciting and so far the Merlin Passes have been a great investment!

Eden is wearing at Legoland a Zigzag coat by Mimpi, yellow top and cardigan from Mothercare, jean dress from Primark and Teal sparkle Converse trainers.

Eden is wearing at Chessington Mini ZZZ rainbow anorak from TK Maxx, top and leggings from Next and Teal Sparkle Trainers from Converse.

Thank you for reading ‘Making the most of our Annual Merlin Passes!’.

Em x

Days Out, Home, Unusual

Alice in Wonderland – Nevendon Manor Events

Unusual themed day out for Alice fans

Sometimes it’s nice to disappear down the rabbit hole and away from reality. What better way than getting away from it all by having a morning with Alice in wonderland. Nevendon Manor Events in Wickford, Essex organise really amazing events. They normally have them running during the school holidays and are themed. You can purchase time slot tickets several months in advance. Tickets cost on this occasion £14.30 per person.

This was actually my third time attending one of their events. We have previously attended both Willy Wonka and the Wizard of Oz themed events. Both were so good that I knew the Alice In Wonderland themed ‘Hatter’s Wonderland’ wouldn’t disappoint!

I can only describe the events as emersing yourself in a live action theatre production. For Eden, being 4 years old, this is truly a magical experience. Like the most amazing role play game where everyone is dressed up and playing along with her. During the 1 hour duration it takes to walk round the grounds, Eden is transported into a fantasy world that she really believes is real.

Morning in Wonderland Alice in wonderland
The Characters

The grounds are always decorated so beautifully, truly theming it to the event. Today the garden was dotted with toadstools and flowers as you walked between the areas. We were lead around the grounds by Alice as we followed her on her adventure through Wonderland. Each area had a new character to meet from the story, the white rabbit, the Cheshire Cat, the Caterpillar, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, the Mad Hatter and my personal favourite, the Red Queen! She accused me of eating her jam tarts and ordered the executioner to chop off my head, luckily Alice and the children saved me. It was all so much fun!

Morning in Wonderland with Alice
Morning in Wonderland walking with Alice
Morning in Wonderland Tweedle Dee and Tweedle DumMorning in Wonderland Caterpillar Morning in Wonderland red queenMorning in Wonderland mad hatter
The actors and actresses are all really professional, never breaking character and interacting so well with the children. Many of them children themselves.

Morning in Wonderland mad hatter close upMorning in Wonderland Mad Hatters Tea PartyMorning in Wonderland Eden as Alice
It was such a magical experience. We look forward to going to more events with them! Would recommend popping it on your list of things to do, especially if you’re a fan of Alice!

Morning in Wonderland Door KnobMorning in Wonderland
Morning in Wonderland Eden as Alice
Thank you for reading A Morning in Wonderland, for more information pop over to Nevendon Manor Events!

Pin for later, Emma x

Pinable image of Alice in wonderland event at Nevendon Manor

Days Out, Home, Unusual

Is Comic Con for kids? A review.

Comic Con for kids

So is Comic Con for kids?

I never would have thought Comic Con was for kids before actually attending one myself. The idea of ushering my child around in huge crowds in London actually made me shudder. I never would have thought it was a particularly child-friendly place but in reality…. it absolutely is and I’ll tell you why!

We attended the London MCM Comic Con at the Excel London on Sunday 28th May. We were part of the 131000 strong crowd that attended over the space of 3 days. For those of you who don’t know, it is the ‘biggest and best celebration of modern pop culture’, covering film, sci-fi, gaming, anime, manga, online video, comic books and cosplay.

The event normally runs Friday to Sunday. During the weekend they have special guests attending for meet and greets and various shows and competitions running. To be honest we rarely go for either of those but purely for the great buzz of Comic Con.

Comic Con for kids MCM Comic con

I have to admit both myself and my husband are a bit geeky. We love browsing the many stalls for cool merchandise and seeing everyone dressed up in costume. Eden thinks it’s like Disneyland, she gets to walk around, have pictures and chat to all her favourite characters! Don’t get me wrong, some costumes are a little more ‘crafted’ than others but people put so much effort in, it adds to the charm. Some costumes are so lifelike, they are incredible! It doesn’t matter if you’re wearing your favourite Batman Tee or a full blown costume, everyone is welcome. It is such a relaxed environment, everyone there for a shared interest and to have a good time.

Getting there

If you drive you can park there in the car parks below the centre! Super easy! If going by Train then go to Prince Regent or Custom House station on the DLR line.

Even though there are thousands attending, it is really well organised and appears to be improving and evolving each year. You can pre order your tickets online. The queuing system to collect your wristbands and go through security was very quick considering the number of people there. We were moving the whole time, there was no standing still for ages with a fidgety child, so that was good. The staff were all clearly labelled and helpful.

Comic Con for kids venue
Food

This year there were more food options. The usual venue eateries in the centre of the Excel can get quite busy but they also had brought in more food stalls inside the actual comic convention and they had a large catering area with chairs and tables. They had a few food options from noodle bars, deli sandwiches, coffee shop with salads and sandwiches, to ice cream vans and my particular favourite, a stall with chocolate fountains!!! Milk or white chocolate!!! One happy mummy right there and Eden!!! I don’t know how she managed to avoid her dress, I was quite impressed… it was everywhere else though!

Comic Con for kids eating waffle
Child friendly

This year there was also a very nice addition of a child friendly area, making sure Comic Con is for kids. They added a chill out spot with bean bags, books and toys. This was a really nice clean area and it was really calm surprisingly. A nice little spot to rest those tired legs. They were also offering kids tattoos and face painting for a small fee.

Comic Con for kids Kidzone

Comic Con for kids kidzone beanbags

Comic Con for kids reading
Facilities

There were plenty of toilet stops available and we didn’t need to queue. We walked straight in, I did also see signs for baby changing too, however I had no need to use these.

The Costumes

Eden loved spotting all the characters we knew and she wasn’t shy about asking for her photo with them. It was so lovely seeing her excitement getting to meet them all. Both myself and hubby were quite excited about meeting some of our own heroes! Such Geeks! Some of Eden’s favourite characters she met were Smurfette, Snow White, Wonder Woman and Groot, plus we met lots more.

Comic Con for kids smurfetteComic Con for kids Guardians of the Galaxy
Comic Con for kids character meets
Shopping

Eden enjoyed walking about and looking at the various stalls, there were plenty of Funko Pop vinyl figures there and lots of cute things for her to look at. She did beg me for a giant hamster rucksack the whole way round, the thing was bigger than her and would have needed an extension to live in our house! I managed to distract her with a little pack of sweets! Sometimes it’s the lesser of the two evils! Giant £20 hamster that will take up 1/5th of my house or a little pack of sweets?!! We went with the sweets!

Comic Con for kids sweetsComic Con for kids funko vinyl pops stall
Doug was super happy with his ‘Keyblade’ purchase, a piece of memorabilia from one of our favourite PlayStation games Kingdom hearts. Eden was equally happy with her Nightmare before Christmas and Harry Potter figures!

My 16 year old nephew came along with us too, he had a great time, even met one of his YouTube heroes Tonska and got his horse mask signed. One very happy boy!

Comic Con for kids Funko pop vinyl stall
We all had such a great time, we walked 6 miles and my legs were killing me after but definitely worth it and we will be going to the next one! Now I just need to get Eden’s outfit sorted!

If your kids (or you) like film, games, cartoon characters it’s a great place to visit for an unusual day out! Pop it on your list!

Thank you for reading Is Comic Con for kids? A review.

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, Home

Well here we are…Little Miss Eden Rose blog launch!

Little miss eden rose with black and white background Little Miss Eden Rose blog launch

Hello there world

Well here we are, after what seems like an eternity, we are finally online….. this is the Little Miss Eden Rose blog launch and I am excited yet nervous to get started… so here goes my first post!

Firstly a huge hello from myself, Emma. I am a mum to a very happy and funny 4 year old daughter, my Little Miss Eden Rose, she is a complete delight!  I work from home running The Candy Bag Shop, along with juggling home life, school runs and fun stuff to do. We go on many adventures together, from days out at the park, to further afield travels and are forever searching out something new and different.  We both love to get crafty, from making things at home to trying out a new course to learn something new! I also love fashion, taking photos and party planning!

I am looking forward to sharing our little adventures with you all.

Little miss eden rose with black and white background

Little Miss Eden Rose

Thank you for reading about our Little Miss Eden Rose blog launch!