Thursday, 30 June 2016

Arts & Crafts - Chalk Paint

Now that we have got to the good weather we have been spending more and more time outside. While we where out in the garden one afternoon a few weeks ago D asked could he paint. We got everything out and D set to work making a lovely picture, in the process he spilt 2 tubs of paint over and painting the ground a lovely shade of brown. Painting outside is messy and even though he was using poster paint it ended up taking forever to wash away, every time I added water it made the paint run in all directions. After that I just said no and gave D some chalk to draw on the ground. The only problem was he didn't want to draw. He wanted to use his paint brush and paint on the ground and walls outside.

I remember that during school we had used chalk and made it more like paint by adding water to the brush before rubbing on the chalk. It had got me thinking about making chalk paint and after a bit of talking myself into it we gave it a go. I don't know why but I was convinced it wouldn't work. I knew We would need water and various colours of chalk, I also knew that simply adding a full piece of chalk to some water wouldn't work. That would simply make slimy chalk that was no good for anything. So I thought the best way to figure it out was to go back to the basics of paint. Paint is a powder that water or another liquid is added to in order to create the runny texture.


So now that I had a plan it was time to get everything we would need:

  • Plastic cups

  • A hammer or rolling-pin

  • Some chalk (The brighter the better)

  • Food storage bags

  • Paint brushes

  • Ground, wall space or some paper

  • Water


The first step in creating our chalk paint was to find some chalk. I had come across this bright and colourful chalk while out doing our weekly shop and as D has a chalkboard in his room I thought the bright colours would look fab on his board. The small set contains 6 different colours which are all very bright and vibrant. Although the set only has 6 colours the sticks are each thick and a good size. Our chalk came from Poundland.


After we had the chalk we needed a way to break each chalk up without mixing the colours or ending up with chalk powder everywhere. However it couldn't be a box or bowl as I needed to use the hammer to break it up so in the end I got some freezer bags which had a zip close and I placed one piece of chalk inside each bag.

 The easiest and fastest way to create a powder from a solid is for us is to smash it with a hammer or a rolling-pin (if your children want to get involved). D loves hitting the chalk with the rolling pin and has asked to watch me breaking up the last pieces with the hammer. He will sometimes shout "faster, faster mummy!" We usually smash each piece individually on a mat beside the back door. You can see all our colours in the above picture.


Once you have all your chalk powder gathered together you need to decide what you would like to do. If you are just creating some pictures on card or paper then I recommend using about a teaspoon full of powder for each paint or if you are doing a larger area or painting outside I would recommend using a about half /full stick of chalk in powder form. Add the amount you need into your plastic cups like above.

To turn the chalk powder into paint you need to add water. You can see D above mixing the water and chalk powder to make the paint with his paint brush. It's really that simple he can do it himself! You will need to be very aware of how much your adding for some projects and not so much for others. The first time we tried making chalk paint I added way too much water and we ended up needing to empty some out. When painting the pictures on paper/ card I added around a teaspoon of water to start and slowly added a little bit more until I had the right consistency. Creating paint for the walls and ground outside was much more of a guessing game and I would usually add too much or too little water. We figured out that after about 10 minutes the water and wet chalk particles start to separate which is actually perfect if you add too much water! You can just wait for the chalk to separate and pour out some water being careful not to pour out any chalk particles. Alternatively you could simply dip a piece of kitchen roll (Kitchen towel/ paper) into the watery layer on top and allow it to absorb some of the water.


We also found out that spilling some of the paint on the ground outside can help the separation process happen quicker. When the ground starts to absorb the water it will spread to a wider area and keep the paint/ chalk particles in the same place. Explaining how and why the ground needs to absorb the water in the paint can be a good way to add some learning into the painting session too. You can clearly see the water spreading out in the above picture while the paint stays in the same area as when it was poured. This paint will be much thicker than the paint in the cup.

Chalk paint is very versatile and can be used to learn about both layering and mixing colours. You can see in the pictures we made how you can mix the colours together even after they are on the page and in most instances you can also mix them after they have dried! Not only can you mix the colours but layering them over each other with actually removing either colour is also very easy by letting the bottom colour dry slightly before adding the second colour, it does help if you don't run the brush over the area too many times too. You can see both the mixing and layering in our pictures above.


The first time we made chalk paint was for in the garden and we got on very well. D really enjoyed being able to paint on the wall and the ground. He loved creating his master pieces and he really liked that even after t first rained his picture was still there! This would be the perfect paint to use for creating a hop scotch board or other similar games that your kids like playing.

20160612_092813.jpgOur back garden is just wall after wall of white. There's no real break and seeing D painting all those bright colours gave me an idea on how I could brighten up the garden without actually having to get all the outdoor painting equipment out and to be able to change the whole wall by simply washing away the chalk paint. I spent the time we where out with D everyday in the garden painting the rectangles from the bricks on the longest wall in the garden. I used five of the chalk colours and alternated between four of the colours and I used the fifth to colour all the motor joints between the bricks, creating a kind of framework.

We have all loved spending time together painting all kinds of pictures. I love how versatile the chalk paint is and when we are finished we can let the leftover paint dry in the plastic cups before stacking them up. This way they are pretty much ready to go next time we want to paint, I can just add water to the chalk and maybe some more chalk powder if it needs topped up. D is ready to go out and paint a picture or even just to paint a picture at the table on his paper/card.

Chalk painting can be the perfect activity for those summer days spent outside in the garden and can very enjoyable for both adults and children to do together.

What do you like to do in the garden on sunny days?


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Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Frozen Fruit Push Pops

It has been a while since we have baked or cooked anything that we have shared on the blog and now that summer has officially arrived I thought it was time we got back to sharing some tasty treats! I thought that sharing one of our favourite picnic additions would be perfect to get us started on our summer recipes.

When we go on picnics throughout the summer we tend to take a few things with us that are very conventional such as sandwiches or wraps, cocktail sausages, yoghurt, buns or cake, water or juice and a few other bits we have made around the time we go. We do always try to also make our frozen fruit push pops that day before we go too.  Filled with any kind of fruit or veg you like they are versatile and filled with nutrients. Plus they are very refreshing, making them the perfect addition to a picnic with children.


To make frozen fruit push pops you will need:

  • Cake push pop holders or kit (Ours is from Poundland and contains 2 Push Pop holders.)

  • A chopping board

  • A knife

  • A few types of fruit (we are using kiwi, mango and peaches. Avoid fruits that cannot be frozen or left in a fridge for a few hours/ a day)

Making the fruit push pops is fairly simple and only take a few steps that you can get the kids involved with. The first step is to peel and cut all the fruit or veg you are using while trying to keep most of the actual fruit whole. I recommend you peal and cut film fruit before getting children involved but allowing children to cut up softer fruit with a butter knife like strawberries, kiwi, orange etc.. can be good practice, D didn't want to use his knife and was much more interested in trying out the fruit as I cut it all up. I find that pealing the mango and peaches before slicing them up in sections is the easiest way to get whole pieces out. I also cut the kiwi in half before pealing the skin away with the knife and slicing it up.

Inside our push pop kit there was a small circle cutter that cuts the fruit into circles that fit perfectly into the push pop holders. D is always very excited about getting to use the cutter to push down on all the fruit and cut them all into shape. During this part you can just let your kids improve their hand to eye co-ordination as they try to make sure they get a full circle of fruit.

Once you have all your fruit cut up into circular pieces you can just pop it all inside the push pop holders. We tried to use a pattern by alternating fruits but D wanted to have much more mango in his than kiwi and peach.

 Here are our finished fruit push pops with their lids on. We also made another with watermelon and pineapple sticks that D had opened and then refused to eat them without putting them in the push pops device/ holder. You can use up all the other left over pieces of fruit in another push pop by dicing the fruit up and popping it all in one of the holders. To hold the fruit together you can add a few spoonfuls of melted chocolate (you can add the chocolate to the sliced fruit push pops too).

Usually when we are off out on a picnic I will wrap the push pops in cling film or pop into a plastic tub and put them in the freezer overnight and remove just as we are getting ready to leave. By the time we actually sit down to eat our frozen fruit push pops they have defrosted but are still cool and refreshing to eat. D didn't want to wait this time!

We all love having the frozen fruit push pops at our picnics and D enjoys being able to help prepare the picnic. Having the push pops also means we can get D to eat extra fruit that day as he will always want more than one.We have added the chocolate on one or two occasions but I prefer the plain fruit and D likes lifting the fruit out which he can't  do with the chocolate covered version. These frozen fruit push pops make a great snack too for when you are out and about or staying at home.

Have you made anything delicious recently?


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Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Handmade With Love - Threadcount 5 in 1 Dress

Usually when I write these handmade with love posts I am making items for D and my family/ friends. I'm changing it up a bit today and sharing a dress that I made for myself! A rarity that I don't really do.

When I started making myself this dress I didn't know I would be writing a post about it's making, which meant that I wasn't taking picture's through the process.

A few month's ago I started getting Love Sewing magazine for some ideas and patterns to make. The first issue I bought came with a Threadcount  3 in 1 dress pattern for sizes 14 - 22. The pattern was most of the reason I bought this issue of the magazine.


After I got the magazine and the pattern I needed to find a bit of time where I could get out the grease proof/ baking paper and markers to copy out the pattern. The grease proof/ baking paper wasn't wide enough to trace the skirt sections of the dress in one go. To create a piece wide enough to fit the pattern on I measured the rough size needed and added a little extra to be sure the skirt piece would fit. This left me with two separate pieces of half the pattern piece, I joined them up and added some sellotape to ensure they stayed together. I repeated this process and then copied the two pieces onto the new, wider paper. That left simply cutting out the pattern pieces using a pair of scissors.

Once I had a workable pattern I set about figuring out the best position for each piece on the fabric. The pattern dictates that you should use a full pattern on the fabric of choice then also have the top half of the dress pattern on a lining fabric. I did follow this, however instead of doing just the top section I cut out a full pattern for lining. The reason I chose to do a full pattern is quite simple, I was using a white fabric with black spots on. The fabric itself was quite thin and I was worried that the finished dress may have a see through skirt! For me cutting the fabric always feels like the longest part of following a pattern. It most likely isn't but this tends to be the only section I do all in one go. The process of adding all the pins to keep the pattern in place, the cutting, removing the pattern pieces from the fabric and then repeating the process for the lining can take a little while.

Now that I had my fabric pieces cut out I didn't do anything further for a month or so. When I did get enough time to make a start on the sewing portion of making the dress I sat down and read the instructions a few times. ( I tend to find that I always go wrong somewhere in the pattern the first time I try it. There could be many reasons for this; I don't read the instructions properly, I miss a step or two or I don't fully understand the instructions and plow on anyway. ) The instructions start with the top half of the dress which is in 5 pieces. The main front piece is one section that was cut on the fold of the fabric ( I accidentally cut this in half so I had to sew along the cut line) and has darts on either side of the bust area which need sewn in. Creating the rest of the top section is more or less just matching up the pieces for the side and back of the dress and sewing in place. I did those sections one at a time. The final step needed to finish off the top section (for now) was to tidy up the neckline and strap/ arm hole where I needed to create a hem. I did this by folding the fabric over to the inside and sewing in place. I tried to ensure the fold was the same length all the way around.

It actually took about another month or almost a month for me to get back to the dress so I could finish the dress and create the skirt. Creating the skirt was a little harder than I had anticipated, it actually isn't that hard but I got myself in a tissy about it! The first hurdle I came to on the skirt was creating the fold in the top front section of the skirt. I couldn't quite get what the pattern was telling me to do (I know now!). I just made the fold the way I thought it worked. I did work out after I had finished the dress that I had needed to simply fold on the line to create half a fold on either side and sew it following the box shape. Pretty simple right?

Anyway, completing the skirt was the same as completing the top section. I needed to line up the pieces and sew both the lining and the main fabric together to create the skirt seams on the 3 sections. I had to remember to stop sewing at the large dot left on the back sections of the skirt to be able to add the zip.I needed to add another hem, this time along the bottom edge. I did take my time with this hem as it was going to be very visible on the dress itself and needed to be as close to the same size all the way around as I could get it.The skirt also needed a running stitch added on either side between the folds. This was to ensure the skirt would be the right size for my waist and also be the same length all the way around as the top section of the dress. I create a running stitch by turning my thread tension to 1 on the machine and creating one long line of stitching in the area I need the running stitch. I then pull one side of the thread slightly and tie it in a knot as close to the fabric as I can, using the other end of the threads I pull the loose side to the correct size and repeat on the other side of the skirt.


Once I had both the top and skirt sections of the dress I needed to attach them in order to create the one piece dress.  I took my time in lining up the fabric on both the top and skirt. I pinned both sections together before sewing them using the pins as my guide. Next up I added the zip starting at the bottom of open end on the back of the dress and working my way up one side at a time. After I got to the end of the zip I realised there was still some space at the top that the zip didn't reach so I got some hook and eye fasteners and added them by hand sewing them on. ( I used three) The dress was finished!

I paired the dress with a red bow belt and a pair of red shoes with small heals. I am very proud of this dress, I've never made myself much (a pair of PJ bottoms!) and attempting an adult pattern was a little daunting at first but I got there and I love the finished result! So much so that I am stating another one. Please excuse my very bad modeling!

You can download the Threadcount 5 in 1 dress pattern in sizes 8 - 14 for free by clicking on the link which takes you to Love Sewing. I cannot find the pattern I used to create the dress in a size 18. I think it may have been exclusive to the magazine.

Have you made anything recently?

Sunday, 19 June 2016

My Sunday Photo - Reflection

This past week has been eventful, we've had a mix of long days out and days in cuddled up on the sofa too. It's been filled with fun and adventure. I took a pretty good amount of photos this week but I knew that one in particular would be our #MySundayPhoto the moment I saw it when looking through the photos after our day out.


This weeks photo was taken when D and I got on a train to go visit one of my friends who had recently had her first baby. D was so excited all morning, not only was he going to see a little baby but he was going to go on a train! D loves trains more than any other toys, if there's an option to watch anything about trains he'll take it. He even enjoys waiting on the bus so he can watch when a train goes past on the nearby tracks!

D was very interested in
watching as the world speed past the window. I managed to catch a few moments of that joy and excitement in photos that we can look back on and this one just stood out to me. I like how the green tree's blend and blur as the train went by. How that caused the reflection of D's face to show in the window. I also like the way that D is leaning on the small ledge with his arms crossed.

What have you been up to this week?


We are linking up to Darren over at Photalife for #MySundayPhoto, you can visit Darren's blog and check out the other Sunday photos  by clicking on the badge below.

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Zycom Zipster Scooter Review

In the run up to Christmas Simon and me talked a lot about getting D a scooter, we went through a few options when D's granny phoned and told us she had found one she wanted to get him and was checking if we'd decided yet. As we hadn't we took a look at the Zycom Zipster Scooter which she had chosen and it looked perfect for D.


The Zycom Zipster has a few great features which D has really loved.20160613_204325.jpg

They include:

  • Light up front wheels

  • Easy to use quick stop break

  • Large foot plate, perfect for smaller children

  • 3 Wheels

  • Pivot steering for easy turning

When D first took the Zycom Zipster outon boxing day he couldn't get to grips with turning or with stopping and for D the logical thing to do was to lift and turn the scooter. He would stop by putting his foot on the ground until he stopped.

D was so very proud of himself for making the scooter go! It was pure joy on his face every time he got to go out on the scooter.

With us living in Northern Ireland where the weather isn't great for most of the year D wasn't really able to go out on his scooter much. That meant he couldn't get used to the Zycom Zipster for the first few months. In facet he rarely used it between January and April.

Once the good weather came in D was raring to get out and play on the scooter. He was more than ready to get used to how it works. For the first few days we let him play in the back garden on the Zycom Zipster, Simon and I spent a little time each day teaching D how to brake safely and how he can make the scooter turn without having to get of. It took a minute for D to understand the brakes and work out a way he could use them while staying on the scooter. It also didn't take long before he started to get the hang of pivot steering. I noticed that D was growing more confident in his abilities on the Zycom Zipster, not only did his confidence grow but he was getting faster every day.


By the time we went out on the Zycom Zipster again D was ready to go all on his own! He didn't want any help other than lifting the scooter across roads. The Zycom Zipster has changed his outlook on getting out and going for a walk, well a little ride on his scooter in D's case.


D races along in front of me and Simon anytime we go out with the Zycom Zipster. I sometimes think he's racing ahead just to see the lights on the front wheels light up. He loves watching them and I have caught him in the back garden with the scooter upside down spinning the wheels and laughing as the wheels light up.


The pivot steering is fantastic for teaching balance. D has always had pretty good balance but has struggled with balancing using one leg, especially when putting his shoes on. When he first got on the Zycom Zipster Scooter he was very one-sided with his weight and the pivoting would put him off but he has become used to how his body weight is distributed through the foot board. He can now distribute the weight evenly and stay steady while still steering the scooter the way he wants it move with small movements.

 The only issue we had with the Zycom Zipster Scooter was the two small rubber covers that go inside the holes for the screws along the handle bar. They sit up a few centimeters from the frame, which was good at the start but soon D figured out that they could be removed. He would take them off and mess around with them any time we stopped. In the end I had to remove them completely. I think that replacing the rubber stoppers with a plastic version that sits flush with the bar would be a much better solution and children wouldn't be able to remove them.

The Zycom Zipster Scooter from Zycomotion is a great scooter for 3-5 year old's who are getting to grips with the motion of scooter or are getting their first scooter. The Zycom Zipster has so much to offer children and they will gain confidence with the mastery if its movement.

You can purchase the Zycom Zipster Scooter at Amazon using the link for £53.96 at the time of writing this.

Monday, 13 June 2016

What We're Reading - Grandpa's Great Escape by David Walliams

After we had finished reading The Chronicles of Narnia  I wasn't really sure what the next book would be. I set out looking for books that D might enjoy hearing at night. After a bit of research online I found a few authors to look out for and set about trying to find a book that D would like. After a while I came across Grandpa's Great Escape by David Walliams.

20160613_174753.jpgGrandpa's Great Escape is about a young boy called Jack and his Grandfather who is suffering with dementia and his brain is stuck in World War II. Grandpa and Jack have been making up adventures that are very real to them inside Grandpa's flat when Jack comes to visit.

20160613_175343.jpgGrandpa is reliving his glory days as a World War II pilot when he would fly up, up and away in his spitfire. As Grandpa's dementia gets worse he and Jack take on real life adventures that have their very own life and death moments! This funny and daring duo get in to all sorts of trouble right from the start when Grandpa first climb up the church spire to get up, up and away in his spitfire. They become detectives, escape artists, pilots, among other things throughout the book.

David Walliams has done a fantastic job on  portraying dementia and it's effects on the mind of loved ones in side this exciting story about Jack and his Grandpa. He has wrapped up so much excitement, adventure, joy and sadness in the pages of Grandpa's Great Escape in a way that is understandable to children and adults. Not only that but he even manages to fit in a lot of facts about World War II, Rulers names, nick names used during that time for various people, how the air-force worked throughout World War II, the type of planes that were used and many of their uses, David Walliams even has a good part of the book where Grandpa thinks he is in a prison of war camp! The way he has written the book appeals to the sense of adventure in us all while we are taking in so much useful information at the same time. No mean feat in a children's book!

The childish appeal to the book doesn't stop with exciting adventures, the pages of the book itself are set out in a way to appeal to children with pictures throughout the book and the changes in the font and size of certain words draw you in to read the page just to find out what is happening and why the fonts are changing.


The illustrator of Grandpa's Great Escape, Tony Ross has done fantastic work bringing the book to life. His illustrations are precise and interesting. They ignite the imagination with all the adventures there aren't illustrations of. There's also a lot of detail in the illustrations. I love the cartoon feel his illustrations give to the book and the characters. The combination of David Walliams and Tony Ross is a perfect match for Grandpa's Great Escape.

D was very interested in not only hearing this book much like the other novel's we have read but he wanted to see what was happening on the pages. He watched my finger move across the words and copied what I said out loud at the time my fingers pointed to the words in other. D was much more engaged in this story when it came to the physical book.

D found the adventures of Jack and Grandpa thrilling, there where points where he had to sit up so he could listen to more of the story. We read around 2-3 chapters a night with the book containing 66 chapters all together. There was actually a few days throughout the month where D brought the book downstairs and sat up with me on the sofa ready to read some more, which has never happened with a novel we are reading before!

Although the book is aimed at children aged 9-12 years old, D still enjoyed the book. I don't think he really understood the dementia side of the book or why the book was changing between the time of World War II and 1983 where Grandpa is getting in trouble. He enjoyed the adventure and I know this book will be one that will be kept in our collection for years to come.

I personally enjoyed reading the book with D at night and found I was very much interested in finding out what happened next which I hadn't been expecting. Having studied  history during my GCSE's and in particular World War II, this book really sparked that interest for me again. I remembered almost all the facts and information about World War II which David Walliams noted but it was a new take on the information and a new perspective of the young boy living after the time of war and the old man who still believed they where at war. Reading as those two worlds collided in a spectacular way was enjoyable.

We will be putting David Walliams on our list of Authors to look our for and since starting the book have also bought 2 other books by David Walliams. I would recommend Grandpa's Great Escape to anyone with children or a child that has a family member who is suffering from dementia, who enjoy adventure and excitement in a book, who are learning about World War II in school and those who take an interest in history.

You can purchase Grandpa's Great Escape by David Walliams on Amazon by clicking the link. The book is £5.00 at the time of writing this.


You can also find all our favourite books we've wrote about by clicking on the badge below.

What we're reading novels

Sunday, 5 June 2016

My Sunday Photo - Little Soldier

It's Sunday, not only that but it's June! What has happened to the first half of this year? I really have no idea where the last 6 months have vanished to. Anyway let's get back to Sunday, it's time of my Sunday photo and this weeks photo was taken on Monday while we attended our local maritime festival.

I'm not sure what we where expecting but we certainly weren't expecting to see all kinds of emergency responders and soldiers there with a full array of protection, armer, guns (without ammunition) and their vehicles to explore and discover. D was fascinated by everything that was happening and that they where doing there.

One of the things D enjoyed was dressing up in the soldiers armer/ protective gear. That was one of the reasons I have chosen this photo as my Sunday photo.


There's just so much I love about this photo. How proud D looks all dressed up like a real soldier, The expression on his face and the fact that he has his hands all scrunched up so he can show his "big muscles" off in his soldier outfit that looks about a hundred sizes to big for him. Most of all I love that this picture reminds me of just how small he still is. He's growing up so fast and time is really rushing past us. He insists on being a "big boy" so much I lose sight of the fact he is three years old and still just my little boy, well for another while at least!

As always we are linking up with Darren over on Phot A Life for #MySundayPhoto. You can visit Darren's blog by click on his badge below. Pop over and take a look at all the other My Sunday Photo's out there.

Friday, 3 June 2016

Orchard Toys Baa Baa game review

D has a few of the puzzles from the Orchard toys range and he has always enjoyed sitting down to do them either alone or with me and Simon. They always challenge him and require his up most concentration.


So when we where out shopping the other week and D found Orchard Toys Baa Baa game on the shelf for sale items we had to get it. Admittedly he did think it was a puzzle but he was even more excited when I told him it was a game he could play. I had been looking into getting D some of the Orchard Toys games but was having a hard time deciding which to get.

As I'm sure you can imagine D wanted to play his new game the minute we walked in our front door! It was new, exciting and best of all it was a game that was perfect for his age and abilities. We got everything out of the box and set to work getting the game ready to go.


Inside the box we found:

  • Four game boards with 6 coloured circles on each

  • One spinner

  • 24 sheep wearing various items of clothing in all the colours on the game boards

  • 24 white stands for the sheep

  • An instruction booklet

Setting up the game was relatively easy. Well for the most part, the little white stands for the sheep were a very tight fit and have edges that are just sharp enough to rip the sheep if your not careful. I do think that slightly adjusting the fit to allow the prongs at the top to be the same width or half a millimetre bigger than the bottom edge of the sheep would make it much easier. However once the sheep where attached they where very secure and stayed on even with D's fiddling. That took longer than I had expected and D was not very patient throughout my careful process.


We got all the sheep standing up in the middle of the table and D got to pick a board for him and another for me. He took about half a second to pick and was so very proud of himself!


We where ready to go with the spinner at the corner of the table between us. D went first and loved spinning the little farmer figure on the spinner around. Once it had landed he told me which colour he landed on, with a little prompting he also told me if he had the same colour on a circle on his board. He did (yay) and he got to pick a sheep that was wearing that colour ( I think it was white). I then told him he needed to put his sheep wearing white on his white circle on the board.

The game itself is really that simple! There are also three sections on the spinner which have a picture of a sheep dog wearing a stripy multi coloured scarf. These sheep mean that you can pick any colour you like and pick up a sheep wearing your chosen colour. D didn't quite get this concept as the background is white and every other section has a coloured background so we play this part a little differently and D get's to pick a colour then turn the spinner around to that colour before he picks a sheep.


One thing I really love about the Orchard Toys Baa Baa game is the versatility of the game. There are so many opportunities for learning by just asking some questions while playing the game. I asked D questions like:

  1. What is your sheep wearing?

  2. Do you wear (insert clothing item) in hot or cold weather?

  3. Do you have any (insert clothing item)?

  4. What colour is the sheep?

  5. Are sheep always white or do the come in different colours?

  6. What do sheep eat?

  7. Where do they live?

I was actually quite surprised by everything that D knew. He only struggled with the sweater vest and skirt neither of which he owns so is very understandable. He knew lots of things about sheep and he seems to think you can get orange sheep. He knows when you should wear many of the clothing items that the sheep wear and was able to tell me about wearing wellie boots in the rain to jump in muddy puddles after it rains!

The game didn't take all that long to play through to the end and we managed to have a few games before dinner was ready. The game was fun for both me and D, we even managed to convince Simon he should play a game with us while he was waiting on dinner cooking. Baa Baa from Orchard Toys is a great game that can be enjoyed by all the family at any time of the day.

Baa Baa is recommended for ages 3 + and you can play with up to 4 players. Orchard toys does recommend the game be played by at least 2 people but I honestly think that D would quite happy sit playing the game on his own if we let him. I would recommend the Orchard Toy Baa Baa game for any family with young children who are learning to match their colours, about clothing, animal or sheep and families looking for a great game to play together. We all really enjoyed play Baa Baa and I know that this will only be the start of Orchard Toys games collection as it was such a hit!

You can purchase your own Baa Baa game from Orchard Toys on Amazon by clicking the link. The game costs £7.75 at the time of writing this post.

Do you own any Orchard Toys Games?


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Thursday, 2 June 2016

What I've Won May 2016

May has been a bad month for me when it came to comping. I started the month out doing a lot of competitions when I found the time throughout the day but things started to change as we got some lovely weather and I ended up doing ery little for a few days while we got outside and enjoyed the sun. It was much more fun than sitting with my phone or the laptop too! After that I had got myself into a bit of a slump and wasn't really enjoying it as much I normally do. I would find many other things to do and comping would just take a back seat.

I know I needed a little break and instead of doing freebie Friday the other week I took myself off to do some shopping and enjoy some coffee alone. I honestly think it has been about 3 years since I went out alone for the day with no deaths in the family or it pouring down and we need something from town! I only spent 2 - 3 hours out alone but I was still pretty close to home so I could get back in a hurry if I was needed. Those 2 - 3 hours where very much enjoyed and I came back feeling a million times better. I was raring to go on everything and anything that needed done. So much so that on the Saturday I managed to enjoy a fair bit of comping. Most of the week after that was spent having a good clean out of the house and we even managed to completely rearrange our dinning room and all the furniture.

I did spend the last week of the month doing much more competitions and even though I only had four wins for the whole of May we managed to fit a lot more family time in and the house has had a good sort through. So enough rambling!

20160514_001526.jpgThis month my first win was from The Vintage Iris on Facebook. I almost missed this one as the original winner hadn't come forward and I was chosen instead but hadn't seen it in my timeline. I did get a few tags and messages when I had got back to my phone after spending the day outside with D and doing some blog posts. I won this beautiful little wooden quote block which matches the blue in our living room. I really love this quote.  I have it sitting on one of our small tables in my 'happy corner'.

2016-06-02-11.53.06.jpg.jpegMy second win was from Toppsta. I won a lovely book for fathers day which is aimed at younger toddlers and babies but I knew it would be a perfect book for D who is getting to grips with starting to read. He has really enjoyed reading through the book which is very easy for him to follow.


The third win was another from Facebook and my first win from a local company Eileen's Day Today which I picked up on Monday and we are planning on having a family movie day on Sunday so I've put these away for us to enjoy then.

My final win for May was from Spelga on Facebook. I'm pretty excited about this one! I won a family ticket for an exclusive screening of Lily's Driftwood Bay this Saturday at the Odyssey Cinemas. D loved going to the cinema at the end of last month (if you missed it you can read the post by clicking on the link ) and we are taking my sister and niece with us. It will be my nieces first cinema experience too.

 I've had some lovey wins this month and I am hoping that June will be a much better month for competitions.

Have you had any wins this month?

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Me and Mine May 2016

We have had a really great month filled with sunshine and lots of family time. I tried taking family picture's of us all together a few times but none really worked out and eventually I choose one that wasn't great but was one of the best we got.


We spent the day at our local maritime festival on the bank holiday Monday earlier this week. There was so much to do and see! We met all kinds of people and on the way home I managed to snap a few photos of us all together. The sun was in our faces and D was being his usual funny self. It was a great end to such a fun day and that is why I chose this picture above the others. We spent the day going from one place to another, our feet were sore, it was hot but we had fun and barely noticed everything else!

This month I loved:

  • Sewing again

  • Getting out in the sun

  • Having pretty flowers in the house

  • Family movie day

  • Playing tag your it every time we leave the house.

This month Simon has loved:

  • Getting new comfortable shoes for walking

  • Water fights in the back garden

  • Getting inside Army vehicles

  • Splashing in the paddling pool with D

  • Watching Britain's got Talent final with the reunion performance

This month D has loved:

  • Playing in the paddling pool

  • Playing tag your it everywhere we go

  • Getting into a giant sand pit and playing with sand properly

  • Discovering lady bugs and looking for them anywhere he thinks they might be hiding (like his bed!)

  • Playing on the arcade dance machine with Daddy and coping all of his dance moves!

As always we are linking up to Dear Beautiful for the Me and Mine Project.

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