Thursday, 28 May 2015

An Adventure With The Brave Bones Club and Competitions!

I was recently contacted by the Brave Bones Club in connection with a few of their projects running at the minute. I am going to be honest before this started I had absolutely no idea there was a Brave Bones Club or what it would be about so I want to start this post by telling you about them and what they do.

The Brave bones Club was set up by Cheesestrings and Yollies to help encourage children and family to become braver and have more adventurous play that is safe, testing and thrilling! The whole club is based on the ethos that The more adventurously kids play, the stronger and more confident they grow up. The whole club encourages this with badges you can print off for your children to earn by completing Tasks, but these are no ordinary tasks! They include the Monster lullaby Badge, to achieve this badge you need to rock and sing a lullaby to a scary monster like a snake or a spider! You can find all of the badges and sign up to be a member of the Brave Bones Club by clicking on the link.

The Brave Bones Club is currently working in partnership with Steve Backshall who is the face of the clubs initiative to get children and families having safe but brave adventures. As part of this incentive The Brave Bones Club is running not one, but TWO competitions for everyone to enter!

The First competition is for A Four Day Adventure with Steve Backshall (Seriously, how cool is that?) you find out a lot of information on this in the below video. Click on the link to go enter, you won't want to miss this opportunity!

The Second competition seems possibly more exciting! You will be able to Win a chance to become a star of the Brave Bones Club adventure series with Steve! . By clicking on the link you will be able to go find out what you need to enter. You will need to create your very own Brave Bones Club badge like the ones on their website by using the template you will find in the link!
We where sent our own pack to go on own very own adventure with D to discover the world and mini beasts! We had all been looking forward to going on this adventure and what it would lead us to! Our pack included a lovely Backpack with the Brave Bones Club logo, A bottle for water or juice, A pair of binoculars, A magnifying glass which can lean against the ground to discover new places and creatures, A mini beast collector and a Sainsbury's Gift card.


With our voucher we got some cheesestrings (obviously! ), chicken, cheese for sandwiches, fruit and some flavoured water which we put in our bottle!
We now had everything we needed to go on our very own adventure in the park near us!

So we set off in search of an adventure and mini beasts! Do was fascinated from the minute we took out the binoculars! He had refused to take them off all day. We spent a good bit of time looking through the binoculars and seeing the world in a whole new way, D was fascinated by tree's he enjoyed looking right up into the branches and getting a real close up view of the world so high in the sky, we spotted a few birds hiding in the tree's until D scared them all away by shouting "birdy! !"

I very soon regretted not putting D's wellie boots on as it had just stopped raining when we left. D discovered puddles to run through to find new places!


It wasn't long before the magnifying glass came out and we went in search of mini beasts!

I am not sure if we just weren't looking in the right places or the rain scared them off but we just couldn't find any! Which meant we couldn't use the device or learn about bugs. I was really disappointed with the lack of mini beasts. I am not good with bugs but I was really interested in how it works and the up close look at bugs you get! I do really think that we will be carrying the devices with us from now on as they take up very little room!

After our failed attempts to locate some mini beast's we went in search of some flowers or long grass to find out the mini world below our feet! We all found this really interesting to see the grass, flowers and everything we stand on so close up.

D is to young to use the bottle we received though he gave it a go he did end up soaking wet and daddy has been using since (he won't let me take a picture) the concept of the bottle is wonderful and really brilliant for little explorer's! I had never tried to look at the world in this way or think of it through D's eyes this way. It has really opened my eyes to a new learning experience for D

It was to wet to have our picnic in the end it started raining again so we ended up having it at home! I forgot to take pictures of our picnic but I must say it was a really lovely day together discovering and exploring the world.

Here are a few extra photos we have of our exploring (not as many as normal. D broke the camera this week! )

If you enjoyed our post be sure to come back in mid July to see the winners in the Adventure Series!

Disclaimer - We received this pack to go on a safe adventure and tell you about the Brave Bones Club and it's current projects/ competitions
Wednesday, 27 May 2015

What We're Reading - Henry's Pirate Surprise

This month D has been very interested in pirates. We have all played pirates and D has dressed up as a pirate. I thought it was very fitting that we have also been reading Henry's Pirate Surprise a lot this month.

Henry's Pirate Surprise is written by Justin C H Birch and Illustrated by Helen Poole. The book is about Henry and his uncle who own a toy shop. Henry's uncle has a surprise for Henry which is a wooden ship, but this is no ordinary pirate ship, it's occupant's are tiny pirates who help Henry save the day!

We all love Henry's Pirate Surprise in our house. It is such a surprising story, you can't really predict what is going to happen while you are reading it. D particularly love the thumb sized pirates who live inside the ship, Each pirate has his/ her own personality and strength they use to work as a team. The book really promotes team work and using each person strength to overcome a challenge. I have not found a lot of books in which this happens so it is defiantly a nice change from one hero saving the day or helping everyone else. D particularly loves that Henry is just a normal little boy who doesn't believe that the pirates are real at first he thinks they are toy pirates, D finds this hilarious.

Henry's Prate Surprise- meeting the pirates
Throughout the book Henry and the Pirates grow a lovely friendship throughout the day in the book. The book requires as much imagination as you want to use. It is not dependent on if your child can think up an adventure or if they can simply make the picture's come alive in their mind. The story ends but with the pretense that there could be another adventure with Henry's Pirate Surprise.

We all made up another adventure with Henry and the Pirates, which I must admit was fun for us all. Each of us was a pirate and had to help Henry to find his way back home from a desert island, Although most of this was thought up by myself and daddy D loved playing the story out and dressing up as a pirate to do so.

Helen Poole has done a wonderful job of filling all the pages in Henry's Pirate Surprise with beautiful, colorful pictures depicting the story. She opens up your imagination bring all the characters alive on the pages of the book.

Henry's Pirate Surprise - Beautiful Ilustrations
We have all loved Henry's Pirate Surprise and we would defiantly recommend this book for any pirate lover! (Everyone else too!)

You can Purchase Henry's Pirate Surprise on Amazon by clicking the link. It cost's £3.99
Saturday, 23 May 2015

Our Adventures This Week #27

Hello everyone!

I must say I don't know how we ended up so busy this week! We have not stopped really since Tuesday morning!

Monday was a big day for us all as a family although myself and D didn't do much except clean and play. Dad had the Dentist! Time had finally came for him to have his crowns fitted! To fully understand why this was such a big event you really have to understand that in the 6 years me and Simon have been together I have never seen his full size teeth. He was never very good at looking after them and had also never been to a dentist after the age of 7 or 8 years old. As you can imagine his teeth where in really bad shape and needed a lot of work. He has now been seeing his dentist regularly for 6 months. It has made such an instantaneous change to all our lives already, Simon is a lot happier now than he was 2 weeks ago or at least he is showing being happy a lot more. He will smile and laugh around 10 - 20 times a day which is lovely to hear and to see. He seems more confident when we are out and will actively say hello or smile to strangers as they walk past. Something I always do! It costs nothing to share a smile after all!

We got up on Tuesday morning and had to go shopping for swimming shorts for Simon, we had ended up taking a long walk around town and having a bite to eat before we headed home and got everyone sorted out to go swimming on Wednesday this paired with dinner took longer than i had thought and we ended up busy until bedtime.

Wednesday came and it was time to go swimming! We as usual where going with my sister and niece the only difference this time was that Simon was coming! It was a very exciting day for D as this is the first time daddy has went swimming with us. Actually it's the first time he had went swimming in around 4 years! We all had a wonderful time and D is getting better at swimming every time we go now! His cousin who comes too is starting to feel more comfortable in the water to so going when we can is really paying off for us now! After swimming we went to pick a few things up and headed home. I had planned to quickly clear some of the kitchen cupboards out and to then make dinner. Little did I know I would have to end up clearing out 90% of the kitchen then need to clean the mess I had made in doing so! By the time i had finished dinner was 2 hours late and it was almost time for bed!

Thursday came and we had our usual walk and family visiting! It took longer this week for some reason! But we eventually got to see everyone and it was a lovely day so there was plenty for us to enjoy while we where going from one to the other. I have started to notice that D only really takes an interest in one person, His cousin who goes with us and toys! He never actually goes to see his Granda just to see him, it's more to play with the toy at his work or to run around!

yesterday I got up early to take one of our TV's over to D's Nannies before we headed down to the Friday Market! We went down and spent some time at the market with D's Nanny, uncle and aunt. We also managed to end up with a lot of things people refused to let us pay for because D had wanted them! This happens all the time but yesterday was a bit excessive. He managed to have 2 very small portions of chips known to us as a cone, a banana, a frump lolly, a toy car and a minion biscuit which I must admit was from a lovely man who sells the most amazing cupcakes in Belfast! Which I will have to tell you all about sometime! The car and lolly had been bought by his aunt after we had said he wasn't allowed them! After the Friday market we ended up going around to The Continental Market in Belfast to see my aunt who works there. We also went on the Carousel for the first time with D.  By the time we got home it was around 4pm and I think I had fell asleep. (I lost two hours of time if I didn't!) In the end I had to go meet a family member for what I thought would be a short period of time. It wasn't I ended up being away for around 3 hours and once I got home and had something to eat it was time for me to go to bed!

I had a post planned for this week, I had 2 actually but with never stopping long enough to write one I was entirely happy with I had in the end decided to put it off until I was. I  am currently waiting on one thing I need for one of the posts and this will then be able to be uploaded for you all to read!

How has your week been? We always love to hear from you in the comments!
Saturday, 16 May 2015

Our Adventures This Week # 26

Well we will start with last week. Last week we did nothing! Absolutely not one thing except sleep, eat and stay home. Turns out that we hadn't got over being sick and it came back with more! It took the full week before we started to feel up to leaving the house!

I also want to apologise for posting so late today, we have not stopped from we got up this morning.

This week for us really started on Monday when we met up with the health visitor. You can read all about our Visit to the Health Visitor by clicking the link. After we finished we again went home and slept most of that day too we where still pretty sick but the appointment takes weeks to get so we couldn't miss it.

On Tuesday we slept in. We managed to sleep right through our allergies clinic appointment which we waited on for a year! Yes really i was so annoyed with myself over this! We ended up all feeling much better and going shopping at last! We had quite a lot of fun leaving the house properly for the first time in a week not just a quick to and from appointment!

Well Wednesday came and we ended up having to cancel going to see D's granny as his aunt was sick ( I know!). We ended up spending the day giving everywhere a good clean from us all being sick it was mainly just tidied up.

Thursday ah Thursday we did our usual walk to see all our Granny's , Granda's, Nannies, Uncle's, Aunt's and cousin's who live along that walk. This actually takes around 6-7 hours of walking and visiting time. We visit 4 Houses altogether and walk around 9 miles!

Yesterday we didn't really do much to be honest we where all pretty tired after Thursday and i spent the day going through all of our clothes and preparing for better weather (I can hope right?).

Today on the other hand has been very long. We slept later than i planned and ended up rushing to get to my niece's 1st Birthday party. We all had a lot of fun and after all that rushing we got there too early and everyone else was late! On our way home we ended up walking into a Marching parade, which are very popular during what we call in Northern Ireland Marching Season. This was in fact D's first. Not really sure how we managed to not get to a full one before but we all enjoyed it and are now safely home and it is time to make dinner! So farewell for now and enjoy your weekends!
Thursday, 14 May 2015

2 Year Health Visitor Check

On Monday we had our 2 year appointment for D with the Health Visitor. I must say we didn't really start the appointment off well, We left the house 45 minutes before the appointment which should have given us plenty of time to arrive or so you would think.

We didn't, in fact not only did we arrive late we got to the destination shown on google maps to discover we where nowhere near the appointment! After an embarrassing phone call to the centre we finally got there. You probably think we are idiots and that we should know where the place is now that D is two.I must say that we now have a new Health Visitor since D turned 1 and we have never been to the Health Visitors clinic before our previous Health Visitor preferred to see D in his own setting or at the doctor's when he had jabs to get.

Once we finally arrived  D went with Daddy into their play room. They had blocks, cars, Lego and other toys to play with. While they enjoyed a little play I talked to the Health Visitor about D, his learning, his growth, his speech and answering any other questions.

She was very happy with D's progress and put a lot of questions i had to ask right for me. She informed me that D is very outgoing and he seems to enjoy the company of others. We all know D is a very orderly type of person, everything has a place at home every single toys has a home. The Health Visitor quickly picked up on this when D had to tidy every toy away in the place it would logically go before he would leave the play room. I honestly do think that D can sometimes present O.C.D in this regard but this is just him learning about how to look after himself ( This even looks crazy to me!)

She did inform us that D is developing as any child should, he is not behind in anything that should be expected at his age. She was very impressed with his puzzle solving skills and provided us with some ideas for helping him to develop further with encouragement which we will be sharing with you along with other ideas regarding encouraging development in toddlers.

All in all i think we needed this appointment as a family to touch base with a professional who could point us in the direction of how to push D further.
Wednesday, 6 May 2015

D at.. 27 Months

Since last month when D decided it was time he got round to telling us all he could talk properly we have seen his personality really bloom. his awareness of his surroundings is getting better every day. He knows where he can and cannot go, what he can do and how to do things safely. We have been showing D about crossing the road for a good few months now, we all look for the green man and the noise he makes that means we can cross the road! D like any child loves to press the button, once he has he stands two squares in from the road and waits on the green man. He is very good at knowing when to go but can get confused if someone on the other side of the road walks before the green man shows up!

D can say a lot now and likes to talk a lot more than we thought! If he isn't telling us something he telling his toys about anything he can! He loves saying hello to everyone we see and especially saying hello to other children.

This months D has learnt to say:

  • Help Me

  • Thank You

  • Why (Yes we know that word!)

  • Hurry Up

  • Taxi

  • Flower

  • Grass

  • Book

D has also learnt to recognise shapes and can say their names along with what colour they are. He knows circle, square, triangle and rectangle!

D loves to sing! Who knew? He will regularly be heard throughout our house singing himself a little song although I am convinced his favourite is the music that accompanies the 20th century fox symbol in films!

I will also find D laughing at something he finds funny quite a lot throughout the day. This can be anything from people beeping their horns to something someone has said. I must say his laugh is really cute!

I can't wait to see what D learns in the next month and find out the other aspects of D's personality as it blooms!
Saturday, 2 May 2015

Our Adventures This Week

This week has been a lovely week,  we have had some good weather and some bad weather too.

On Monday it was raining so we stayed at home while D made pictures with his stickers and played with his toys.

Tuesday was shopping day which me and D done ourselves as Daddy had a dentist appointment. We got on a lot better than the last time as D was helpful and didn't mind being in the trolley this time!

On Wednesday D and I went swimming with his aunt and cousin which was a lot of fun D is starting to become more confident in the water and will swim the whole length of the medium pool and back on his own while not stopping! After swimming we came home and made our Lemon Curd Cupcakes! Just click the link to find out more!

As usual on Thursday we went for our long walk to visit family.  We visited Granda then Granny and D's Aunt before we headed to Nannies! It was a lovely sunny day on Thursday and we spent a lot of time out nanny's front running around in the sun!

Yesterday we went to a local market with Nanny. This is something we do every spring and summer as it's lovely to just get out and enjoy the atmosphere of a market!   My new phone came too! So we should be back to normal again.

We had a pretty good week this week.  What about you?
Friday, 1 May 2015

Lets Get Baking - Lemon Curd Cupcakes

Recently we learnt that we all like lemon flavoured goodies so i decided to combine our favourite (cupcakes) and lemon curd. All made by us!

I highly recommend making your lemon curd up first and while it is cooling make your cupcakes. We used this recipe for our Lemon Curd. I must say it really was yummy! If you are only planning to use it for the cupcakes i recommend halving the ingredients as it makes quite a lot! (You can always keep some in a jar for later though!)

Here is our lemon curd through its steps.

Now on to our cupcakes!

As usual we made our classic cupcakes. Here's our recipe we always use for cupcakes!

125g unsalted butter
125g castor sugar
2 medium eggs
125g self-raising flour
About 250g icing sugar
About 200g unsalted butter

Once you have all you ingredients you'll need to pre-heat the oven to 190°C, put your cupcake cases out on the tray ready to and go get your little one!

The first step is to cream the butter and sugar, the easiest and fastest way to do this is to use an electric whisk . We usually hand whisk as it's more fun! This takes slightly longer but also means that D could join in with the mixing. Although you can use the electric whisk then let them have a few goes at stirring it so they are involved.

Once the butter and sugar are creamed, the next step is to beat your eggs, best to do your eggs one at a time in a separate bowl or mug with a fork adding into the mixture once beat. Doing this ensures you won't get a rotten egg in your mix and have to start again.

Oh Cake mix!

Once you have a smooth mixture. D rather liked mixing it at this point as he always does. There's so much you can do with cake mix in the 3 seconds it takes mummy to get a spoon!

Whisk the cake mix!

The next step is to sift in the flour. Get your child to mix as you add flour bit by bit and help them to mix in between adding flour.

Once all the flour is mixed in and the mixture is smooth with no lumps you can start to add the mixture into your cupcake cases. Make sure you don't go over about two-thirds full as they can spill over the sides and stick together.

Spooning the cake mix.


Once they are all filled you can put them in the oven. Our recipe like most takes about 10-20 minutes just keep an eye on them while you tidy up. They should be lightly browned and will bounce back up when lightly pushed down with your finger.

Allow the cupcakes to cool

Once the cupcakes are ready remove from the oven and allow to cool. D really hated this part! He just wanted a cupcake!

After they have cooled we need to make a hole or well in the centre of each cupcake so we can add in the Lemon Curd.

Make a small hole in the cupcake

Using a spoon add the Lemon Curd into your wells in the cupcakes. Once filled recover the top with some of the removed cake.
Fill and cover with the removed cupcake piece

Add some more lemon curd to lightly cover the cupcake and you can also add some plain or coloured icing on top too!
Add a Little on top and your done!

Now it's time to enjoy!!

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