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Entertain the kids this Halloween half term!

Halloween Half Term week

Halloween Half Term Days Out

Looking for ideas for Halloween Half Term? Here is a list of some of our favourite spooky and unusual days out over Halloween Half term in and around Essex.

Farms

Barleylands Farm Park are running Pumpkinfest during the Halloween Half term week. Halloween themed activities and a free pumpkin for each child. They have two spooky evenings Friday 27th & Saturday 28th October packed with thrills, spills and chills for tots to young teens.  With family friendly activities including Huge Fairground Ghost Train, Haunted Fairground House, Boo Barn, Witches Walk, Haze Maze, Spooky Toddler Story Time, Creepy Reptile Cave, Halloween Disco and spooky games. Book tickets online.

Hopefield Halloween at Hopefield Animal Sanctury on 29th October 11:00-16:00.  Halloween event with Fancy Dress Competition, Haunted Bus, Halloween arts and crafts and mask making fun, Halloween themed Love On The Rocks and fantastic face painting. Entrance: Adults: £6, Kids: £5, Under 3s are FREE.

 

 

 

Pick your own pumpkins

Cammas Hall Farm at Hatfield Broad Oak  you can pick your own pumpkin, enjoy a tractor and trailor ride, get lost in their Maize Maze, face painting or maybe make your own Halloween mask. Don’t forget to stop off for a Halloween treat in their Tea Barn.

The Pumpkin Patch at Basildon or Colchester. Free entry and open every weekend during October 10-4pm.

 

Pumpkin Patch Halloween Half TermThe Pumpkin Patch Halloween Half Term

 

Take a ride on a Halloween Train

Audley End Miniature Railway

Ride the spooky train deep into the woods to visit the witches. Every ticket includes craft making, face painting, story telling, a visit to the dance tent and a gift for every child. Book online.

Epping Ongar Railway, Ongar

Are running 3 spooky ghost train events during Halloween Half term. Saturday 28th October 2017 (day + evening), Sunday 29th October 2017 (day only), and Tuesday 31st October 2017 (evening only). Don’f forget to visit the Halloween marquee at North Weird, where there is magic shows throughout the day, face painting, a silent disco and, for the grown ups, a bar. Each child receives a gift. Book online.

Audley End at Halloween Half Term

 

Essex Police Museum

Essex Police Museum in Chelmsford are offering Halloween crafts, make your own scary mask and trick or treat bag. Fancy dress welcome and free entry to the museum. £2 per child. 21st, 25th and 28th October 10:00 – 16:00.

Check their Facebook page for further details.

 

Essex Wildlife Trust

Essex Wildlife Trust have many Halloween Half Term activities across all of their centres, here are some of our favourites.

Hanningfield Resevoir have plenty of activities running through the Halloween half term, check their website for further details. Spooktastic Family Trail. Solve the spooky clues and track down the creepy creatures of Hanningfield Nature Reserve? Trail sheets £2.50 per child. Sun, 22/10/2017 – 10:00am – 3:00pm. No need to book.

Haunted Hanningfield on Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th October 10-3pm. Follow the spooky trail through the woods to the spooky House, dare you go in? Halloween treat for the brave. Bug hunting, Pumpkin carving and Halloween crafts in the Visitor Centre. Donation £8 per child. No booking necessary.

Belfairs Woodland Centre have Horrible Halloween crafts, drop in for some Halloween crafts on Saturday 28th October 10am -2pm.

Haunting Halloween at Langdon Nature ReserveSat, 28/10/2017 – 6:00pm – 9:00pm aimed at children 6yrs+. Follow the self-guided trail but beware of things that go bump in the night! Finish with stories and marshmallows at the camp fire. Three sessions available starting at 6pm, 6.30 or 7pm (younger children are advised to attend the earlier sessions) Family event aimed at children 6yrs+, must be accompanied by an adult at all times. £7 per person, booking essential.

 

Haunted Hanningfield Halloween Half TermHaunted Hanningfield Cabin Halloween Half Term

 

Halloween Book Reading

Free Book reading event of ‘The Seven Sisters’ by Sibel Beadle, local author of children’s book series ‘Witchy Travel Tales’. With craft activity and book signing at Barleylands function room on Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd October and Saturday 28th and 29th October at the following times each day: 11-11:45am, 12-12:45pm and 1-1:45pm.

Broomstick Making

Make your own broomstick at Norsey Wood. Tuesday 24th October. 1pm – 2:30pm. £2.50 per child. Prebooking required.

 

Spooky Fest Wat Tyler Country Park

Spooky Fest running Monday 23rd October 2017 until Sunday 29th October 2017, 11am until 3pm. Three halloween themed mazes with live characters. Step back in time and walk around the haunted house, looking out for ghosts, ghouls and all things that fright. Meet the 2017 freaky clowns in the extra large Circus. Hook a duck, have your fortune read and see if you can escape the never ending corridors. Introducing the new vampire village. See the vampires hide out, rotting corpses, and spooky effects. Book tickets online. Children 4+ £5 each includes a sweet treat.

 

Lullingstone Castle & World Gardens

Lullingstone Castle just over in Kent is hosting some Halloween magic on the last day of the season. Pumpkin carving, spooky house and garden tours – perfect for all the family. Tom will give garden tours at 1pm and dusk tour at 5pm, learn about the origins of pumpkins, colours and varieties and children can spot the Halloween tricks in eerie torchlight! Fancy dress is welcome. 29th October 12-8pm.

Hedingham Castle

Halloween Weirdness and Wondercraft at Hedingham Castle. 10  Halloween themed workshops, creepy creatures, bash the rat or smash the skull, gooey cauldron of ghastly gunk, slithering reptiles, gory face painting, scary stories in the castle dungeon and a spectacular fiery finale! 10% discount when booking online.

 

Magic Shows

Monday Mayhem at Orsett Hall. Halloween Children’s Party with AJ Entertainers. 10.00am – 1.00pm and 2.00pm – 5.00pm. Entertainers, Balloon Modelling, Face Painting, Arts & Crafts, Mini Disco. Tickets £8.50, book online.

The Magic Frostie Halloween Show on 23 October at 14:00–15:30 at Wickford Community Centre. A Halloween themed show filled with music, Puppets, Balloons, Mind-Blowing Magic. Book online.

 

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Pumpkins Halloween Half Term

 

 

Crafts, My Sunday Photo

My Sunday Photo 24/09/17

My Sunday Photo

My Sunday Photo this week is of mine and Eden’s milk carton elephants we decorated at Billericay Art Trail today. They were coloured in using Sharpies.

There were lots of free crafts to try and we had a fantastic time. There were lots of brilliant artist’s work on display and we met lots of talented and friendly people. A great day out for free in our local high street! We already can’t wait to get involved next year!

Please meet our colourful Elephants! Now I just need to find a home for them both!

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Books, Home, Lifestyle

‘Kevin’ by Rob Biddulph – A Review & Giveaway

Kevin by Rob Biddulph

‘Kevin’ by Rob Biddulph

We were thrilled to receive a copy of ‘Kevin’ the newest book from the bestselling, award-winning author of Blown Away and GRRRRR! ‘Kevin’ by Rob Biddulph published on 10th August 2017 is a story about a boy, his imaginary friend and a beautiful friendship.

Kevin by Rob Biddulph Front Cover

 

The Story

Eden immediately liked the front cover. She was drawn to Kevin’s big friendly face staring back at her, she couldn’t wait to see more.  In the story we are introduced to Sid, a cheeky and sometimes naughty character. He get’s in to trouble with his mum and thinking fast blames it on his imaginary friend Kevin. Much to Sid’s surprise he discovers that Kevin isn’t as imaginary as first thought. In fact he is quite real and Sid is transported into Kevin’s bright and colourful land. During Sid’s time with his imaginary friend he discovers that Kevin’s feelings are very real and being honest and truthful is very important. Sid realises his faults, learns how to take responsibility and to make amends.

‘Suddenly Sidney did not feel so clever. He actually felt like the least best-friend ever. He went up the stairs full of sorrow and guilt. To where he found Kevin tucked under his quilt’

‘Kevin’ by Rob Biddulph is an enchanting storybook. Every parents dream, the rhyming tale is a pleasure to read and the pages are filled with beautiful illustrations. Starting in a dull grey world you are transported into Kevin’s bright and colourful world where Sid learns a valuable lesson.

Kevin by Rob Biddulph Eden reading

Kevin by Rob Biddulph review Kevins land

Kevin by Rob Biddulph review Eden enjoying the book

 

Eden’s Imaginary Friend

Eden really enjoyed the story. Although only 5 she understood the story was about Friendship. Eden loved the characters in the book and really liked the bright and busy pages. I asked Eden if she had an imaginary friend and what they might be like. You can see her response and her thoughts on ‘Kevin’ in our short video here:

‘Kevin’ By Rob Biddulph is out now and hard back copies are £12.99.

The Giveaway

You can enter to win a full set of Rob’s 5 children’s books, Blown Away, Grrrrr, Odd Dog Out, Sunk! & Kevin.

We are giving away 5 sets of the books to 5 very lucky readers. All you have to do to enter is fill in the rafflecopter form below. This giveaway is running until midnight on 23rd September 2017. Open to UK entries only. Good luck to all!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Crafts, Home, Lifestyle, Memories

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

Crafts, Days Out, Eating Out, Fashion, Food, Lifestyle, My weekly round up

My weekly round up with My Little Loves 12/08/17

weekly round up bracelets

My weekly round up

Well I have to apologise… it’s more like my two weekly round up (possibly verging on three!). Since the school holidays hit I’ve literally been on auto pilot and my feet have barely touched the floor. I’m exhausted to say the least. I’ve been juggling days out, working, the gym, volunteering, parenting, party planning and the odd bit of housework! So with all that going on I have to confess. Blogging has taken a bit of a back seat for the last couple of weeks.

So it’s been jam packed so far. We’ve had my husbands family come to stay for the first week. They travelled down from Scotland hoping for some sunshine sadly, all they got was rain! We soldiered on and went on plenty of days out braving the truly rubbish British weather! We still had a fantastic time.

Week 1

During the first week we visited the Fairies and Elves festival at Audley End Miniature Railway… it was a truly magical day. A ride on the train through the woods followed by lots of fun with the fairies, you can read about it here.

weekly round up audley end fairy and elf festival

We also got some more use from our Merlin Annual Passes and visited Chessington World of Adventures. The rain meant few queues so was great news for us! Read our review on the Merlin Annual pass here.

weekly round up eden at chessington

We were lucky enough to be invited to the Barbican Centre to meet ‘Buttons’ the animatronic Cadbury Cow. We had a life drawing class with illustrator Rose Blake and stuffed our faces full of chocolate! My kind of day! It was part of Cadbury’s ‘Adopt a Cow’ campaign. You can read more about it here.

weekly round up cadbury adopt a cow Buttons

I’ve also recently been invited to try out our local David Lloyd club, so have been making the most of it. It’s been brilliant taking Eden along to the kids club classes and I’ve been able to train with my husband in the gym. It’s really taken the pressure off childcare during the school holidays. We even tried out the squash courts and I managed to hit myself with the racquet! The bruise is still going strong after a week. ha ha. Read more about it here.

weekly round up david lloyd gymweekly round up david lloyd squash courtweekly round up david lloyd selfie collage

Read

Well I’ve recently been enjoying reading a new blog ‘whinge whinge wine’. Fran has been making me laugh out loud this week and choke on my coffee. Not forgetting her amusing Facebook posts… the Ta Ta towels were quite an eyeful! I love looking out for Fran’s posts!

Watched

I am volunteer befriender for Age UK and regularly visit a wonderful elderly lady called Beryl. She is 90 years young, just celebrated her birthday this week. We have a lovely bond and natter away for hours each visit putting the world to rights. During the school holidays I’ve taken Eden with me to meet her. Initially I was nervous that Eden might get bored or play up but she has made me very proud. It was so warming to watch the two of them together. Reading books, laughing, joking, colouring in and having a cuddle on the sofa. It was simply magical. Eden told me as we left ‘she is a very nice lady isn’t she mummy’ and I tend to agree with her!

Heard

About million questions every day from my almost 5 year old. My brain needs a rest! Enough said!

Wore

Well I think this adorable outfit with matching headband from Next has to be my ‘wore’ choice this week. I just loved Eden in this outfit with lemon leggings and matching cardi. I think she look so adorable. Doug my husband passed comment that she looked like a little washer woman! What does he know?!

weekly round up eden in next dressweekly round up eden in next dress and headband

Made

Eden made me the prettiest little friendship bracelet. She also made herself a matching one too. She used up all the heart charms on my one so didn’t have enough for her own! I love it, Eden can be so thoughtful, I will treasure it forever.

We also went on a Scrapbook Safari at Hylands House, set in the Park. Unfortunately it was in the rain so wasn’t a great time to see the grounds! But after getting soaking wet outside we got to go into Hylands House. Eden got to make scrapbook pages about the trail, this weeks theme was ‘under the sea’ and we made a cardboard fish. The least waterproof type of fish!

weekly round up Our friendship bracelets
weekly round up eden at hylands house nature trailweekly round up cardboard fish and scrapbook

Ate

We returned to one of my favourite afternoon tea spots, Camelia Hotel in Southend. We were thoroughly spoilt with the warmest, freshest scones straight out of the oven! Served with a huge cup of clotted cream, just as they should be! Read more about my favourite afternoon tea spots here.

weekly round up camelia hotel afternoon tea

And lastly

We have partied hard over the last few weeks. Many of Eden’s friends are turning 5 so we’ve been busy attending all the parties. Best is yet to come though as Eden’s will be next week! I cannot believe that my little pickle will be 5! That went by in the blink of an eye!
So next week I will be busy making the cake, balloon towers, card and a Playdoh surprise egg (oh god help me!). The last one took me about 4 hours… you can see Eden open her last one here! What am I thinking doing it again, I must be mad?! I’ll blog about it and let you know!

weekly round up eden and balloons

weekly round up party table and cakes

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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.

Lifestyle, Unusual

Eden meets Buttons – Cadbury’s Adopt a Cow Campaign!

Cadbury’s Adopt a Cow Campaign

We were invited along to take part in a life drawing class with Illustrator Rose Blake and ‘Buttons’ the 8 foot animatronic Cadbury cow for Cadbury’s Adopt a Cow campaign.

The journey

Eden was super excited, she couldn’t remember the last time she went on a train as she was still small and in her buggy. We had taken her for a sightseeing tour around London to see all the sights. Even managing to get into Downing Street to stand outside number 10 that day! I think Eden slept through and missed most of it!

The journey was simple, we went straight into Liverpool Street. Followed by a short 15 minute walk to the Barbican Centre. I’ve never been there before and thought it was an amazing place. With exhibitions, a shop and cinema.

We stopped for a quick bite to eat in The Barbican Kitchen where kids eat free with an adult meal! Always a bonus! Then headed up to our life drawing class with Rose Blake.

cadbury's adopt a cow At the stationCadbury's Adopt a Cow On train

Meeting Buttons

So Buttons the animatronic cow was created to mark Cadbury Dairy Milk Buttons Adopt a Cow campaign. It was revealed that many city children had never seen a cow before and many children had no idea of their size or what they looked like. Buttons The Cadbury cow is giving city children an opportunity to get up close and see what they are like.

When we first walked into the room, at first glance you would think it was the real thing. Controlled by animatronics and puppeteers, Buttons stood 8 foot tall and was extremely impressive. Lifelike and mooing just like a regular cow.

Eden wasn’t intimidated and went straight in for a hug. She wasn’t quite so brave when it came to touching his tongue but she did it and then made a run for it!

Cadbury's Adopt a Cow Eden hugs Buttons

Cadbury's Adopt a Cow Buttons the cow

The drawing class

The room was set up perfectly. Several easels spread around the room, each with its own equipment. All centred around for a great view of Buttons. Rose Blake had kindly prepared booklets giving easy step by step instructions on how to sketch your cow. Eden of course went free hand and drew a rainbow cow with multicoloured spots! My husband couldn’t resist having a go too, even I got in on the action.

The session was super relaxed, Rose Blake was very friendly and came and chatted to each of us about our pictures. Once finished the children got to show their pictures to Buttons. Eden was thrilled that Buttons liked her picture!

Cadbury's Adopt a Cow Eden and daddy drawing

Cadbury's Adopt a CowCadbury's Adopt a Cow Drawing the cowCadbury's Adopt a Cow colouring the cow

Cadbury's Adopt a Cow Rose Blake

Cadbury's Adopt a Cow Showing Buttons her pic

At the end of the class, Eden received a cow balloon and a Cadbury gift bag which of course included some Cadbury Buttons. She was so pleased! Especially with the balloon and chocolate buttons.

The Cadbury’s Adopt a Cow campaign gives families the opportunity to adopt a cow via an on-pack promotion and 20 lucky families the chance to win an overnight trip to meet their cow at its farm.

Special promotion packs can be found in stores now with the competition closing on 31st August 2017. For more information about the Cadbury’s Adopt a Cow campaign go to https://adoptacow.cadbury.co.uk/.

I think Eden will be talking about meeting Buttons for a very long time! What a great day out!

Cadbury's Adopt a Cow CampaignCadbury's Adopt a Cow Eden and daddy

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Lifestyle, Shows, Unusual

Rapunzel & Beauty & the Beast Shows

At the theatre

Eden absolutely loves live shows and theatre productions. Even from an early age she would happily sit through a film at the cinema but I wasn’t sure whether she would sit through a full length theatre production. I always worried it could work out quite expensive especially if you can’t be too sure if your child is going to sit through it all. An expensive gamble to make.

I found ‘The Princess and the Party’ company offered a Rapunzel show at Orsett Village Hall in Essex last summer. As this is one of Eden’s favourite films I booked up tickets. They seemed super popular and sold out very quickly.

Rapunzel & Beauty & the Beast Shows

Rapunzel

Initially I wasn’t sure what to expect. I thought it would be someone dressed up as Rapunzel who sang a few songs on stage and the kids got to dance around and have some fun! How wrong I was! They had gone to so much effort, the stage design was brilliant, the characters all looked the part and they acted out the whole show from start to finish. What really blew me away was the quality of the singing and acting. I really wasn’t expecting it to be so good. They sang all the old favourites and all the children really seemed to enjoy it. Honestly it was so amazing. Mother Gothel sounded just like the real thing and Rapunzel was absolutely charming!

It was really nice because the show was super relaxed so perfect for the little ones. All the children could sit on the floor at the front if they wanted and parents could sit on the chairs behind. It was very interactive so the children were encouraged to get up and dance and join in the fun! At the end of the show, all the children had the opportunity for a photo with the cast. Eden was so pleased to meet them all!

Tickets were £10 a head and in my opinion such good value, worth every penny. All the children were dressed up in their Rapunzel themed costumes and all had the best time.

We loved it so much we booked up to see their second show Beauty & the beast as soon as tickets were released.

Rapunzel and Beauty and the Beast shows Eden rapunzel dressRapunzel and Beauty and the Beast shows rapunzel stageRapunzel and Beauty and the Beast shows

Rapunzel and Beauty and the Beast shows Cast

Beauty & The Beast

This was another amazing show with more characters and another great stage design. It was really very clever how they pulled it all together and made the film come to life.

Belle was wonderful of course and Gaston had us all laughing our heads off. Quite a few of the children heckled him and he responded so brilliantly in character. Again this show did not disappoint with such good quality singing and acting. The kids had lots of fun, they loved getting all dressed up and dancing along to the songs. I think they felt every bit the princess! I even went the extra mile and made Eden’s Belle dress! I’ll be doing a blogpost soon with instructions on how to make your own princess tutu dress.

Rapunzel and Beauty and the Beast shows Eden and IRapunzel and Beauty and the Beast shows Belle dressRapunzel and Beauty and the Beast shows Belle and gastonRapunzel and Beauty and the Beast shows cast on stageRapunzel and Beauty and the Beast showsRapunzel and Beauty and the Beast shows

Songbird Theatre Company

Since then ‘The Princess and the Party’ have now become The Songbird Theatre Company focussing on producing shows rather than Princess parties. This is great news, especially as they will be repeating the Rapunzel performance again this summer in a bigger and better venue. This can only make it even better than it already was. Still at just £10 a ticket, it is brilliant value! I’d really recommend this for a fun afternoon with the kids or adults!!! Perfect for a child’s first theatre performance or simply to feel like a princess for the day!

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Crafts, Fashion, Food, Lifestyle, My weekly round up

My Weekly Round Up with Little Loves

My weekly round up

So this is my first Weekly Round up. Wow what a week it has been. I feel like my feet haven’t touched the floor and my brain hasn’t switched off. At the start of the week was Eden’s last day in Reception before they moved up to Year 1 for the last two weeks of school. It was an emotional good bye to her wonderful teachers and teaching assistants. They have really made her first year a special one. I must confess I did cry, I knew I would but I feel so sad my little one has finished her first year at school! Where did that year go? I feel like it was just yesterday I was standing at the gate taking her first day of school pics.

The rest of the week has flown by in a blur of school runs, shopping, the gym and lots of working from home. We’ve been making so many teacher gifts this week at at The Candy Bag Shop.

Read

Well Eden has been reading to me lots this week, her reading is really surprising me every day! She seems to be really picking it up and remembering more words without having to sound them out. I love that this is opening up a whole new world for Eden, she has been a book worm since she was just a baby! Even now one of her favourite days out is our local library. It’s so exciting that soon she will be able to read all these books!

Watched

I watched The Labyrinth with Eden, tucked up and cosy on the sofa together. I’m so pleased she seemed to like it as much as I do. Labyrinth was one of my favourite films growing up. It was originally released in 1986 so I wouldn’t have been far off Eden’s age when I first watched this. I love the film so much I even bought myself this little gem this week! The Sarah & the worm Pop Vinyl figure. The little worm was one of my favourite characters in the film, he is too adorable, ‘Allo’!

My little loves Sarah and the worm labyrinthMy little loves the labyrinth movie

Heard

This week I heard some lovely words from Eden, she melted my heart! I saw her coming out of class carrying a big cardboard box. Initially my heart sunk, yet another ‘creation’ brought home from school. I thought to myself ‘WTF is that and where the am I going to put it?’.

As she came out of class beaming with pride at her new creation, aka ‘the glitter box’. I was wondering how long I’d have to keep it before it could find its way into the recycling bin! And then she hit me with it….

‘Mummy, I’ve made this for you as I want to say thank you for all the lovely things you do for me’. Well I melted, what a kind and thoughtful little girl she is growing into! Boy, did I feel guilty about plotting the ‘end’ of ‘the Glitter Box’!!!

However when we got home I was allowed to open the box. It contained a half coloured picture and a million pieces of sparkly bits of paper and sequins. She then proceeded to tip them all out onto the lounge carpet!

Sorry to say the box is no more!!!!!

My little loves Eden's glitter box

Made

This week I was kept super busy with teacher gifts both with my work and for Eden’s teacher gifts. I made personalised cotton tote bags with glitter vinyl, these cute little retro sweet filled milk bottles and packaged it all up in these pretty little hampers. I had to watch videos on YouTube to learn how to make the hamper bows but didn’t quite like them so just ended up making up my own. Not perfect but I think they didn’t turn out too bad.

The Candy Bag Shop teacher gifts

The Candy Bag Shop teacher milk bottle

Wore

This week I wore a gorgeously bright yellow frill top from Next. It got lots of comments which was nice, so it brightened my day in more ways than one!

My weekly round up next yellow frill top

Ate

Well I eat low carb and one of my favourite low carb places for breakfast is Creme in Leigh. I often go here with my dad for a coffee and a catch up. I always choose their ‘Low Carb’ brekkie, the steak is always cooked to perfection!

Also love to go there on on a cheat day as their cakes and shakes are out of this world!!

My little loves Creme low carb breakfastMy little loves cream leigh
And lastly

I’ve realised that I’m absolutely rubbish at hairstyles for Eden and I need to maybe think about getting myself booked onto some sort of course to learn braiding!

Linking up with:

Little Loves Coffee Work Sleep Repeat
Thank you so much for reading my weekly round up and Little loves!
Indoor Play, Lifestyle, Toys

Eden’s Good Report Treat – Sylvanian Families Hot Dog Van

Sylvanian Families Hot Dog Van

Eden’s First School Report

Well Eden has almost completed her first year at school. The Reception Year has absolutely flown by! I can’t quite believe she will be going up to Year 1 in September. Coming to the end of the school year meant Eden had her first school report. Both her dad and I were so pleased with how well she has got on this year. We are both super proud of her and decided to reward her for such a good school report with a Sylvanian Families Hot Dog Van!

Sylvanian Families Hot Dog Van Box

As a child I can remember wanting Sylvanian Families, they have certainly stood the test of time. Unfortunately I didn’t have them myself as a child but I can remember visiting friends and playing with their Sylvanian Families collection. I’m sure I must of pestered my mum non stop for my own! Meany Mum, ha ha!

As soon as Eden was old enough I couldn’t wait to start building her very own Sylvanian Families collection. First off we bought her the cosy starter home and have added extra Families and sets along the way. The great thing about it is the huge range available. It’s easy to ask family members to add to the collection for birthdays and Christmas to build the collection. It’s a toy that last for years and Eden really enjoys with all the ‘tiny’ pieces that comes in them. We store all the little bits in plastic boxes so not to lose any.

The surprise

Eden had no idea what her treat would be for her good school report. It’s safe to see she was blown away when she saw the Sylvanian Families Hot Dog Van. Eden especially likes play sets that contain food so this set was perfect for her.

Sylvanian Families Hot Dog Van Eden's surprise

Sylvanian Families Hot Dog Van Eden's surprised face
The Set up

It was super easy to set up (unlike some toys we’ve opened recently), the van comes ready assembled with just the sign to add on the top. There were a few stickers to stick on and some paper napkins and boxes to make up but nothing too taxing. Eden was playing with it in just a few minutes.

The set includes a retro style hot dog van, an outfit for a Sylvanian character (it doesn’t include the character) , several hotdogs and food items, tongs, menu, drinks and condiments. The set is really well made and the hot dog van is nice and sturdy.  There is so much attention to detail that makes this set so sweet. Some of the hot dogs even come out of their buns!

Sylvanian Families Hot Dog Van straight out of the box
Sylvanian Families Hot Dog Van stickers
Hours of fun

Eden has not stopped playing with this set since she received it, it’s official she ‘loves it’. Every day after school she has got it all out with her other Sylvanian Families collection and played happily. Eden particularly likes the tiny mini hotdog so she can make her own up, pretending to add her own ketchup and mustard. She really enjoys serving all her Sylvanian customers. This is a really lovely set and I can really recommend it.

Sylvanian Families Hot Dog Van The Van
Sylvanian Families Hot Dog Van close up
Sylvanian Families Hot Dog Van eden playing
Sylvanian Families Hot Dog Van Eden with the set

Sylvanian Families Hot Dog Van

You can see Eden’s reaction to her new toy in our short video we made of her opening it. I’d love to know what you think, please leave us a comment below.

Thank you for reading ‘Eden’s Good Report Treat – Sylvanian Families Hot Dog Van Review’.

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Eden's Good Report Treat - Sylvanian Hot Dog Van ReviewThis post was in collaboration with Sylvanian Families, all views are my own.